Helping Glenn Students Make Music Together
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By Carol Earnhardt
Glenn High School
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 – This fall, a former student of mine gave a large donation to help out as we are in remote learning.
Aaron Reel's company – Reel Realty – sponsored the purchase of a canvas bag filled with goodies and purchased a sightreadingfactory.com account for each of my chorus students.
I spent three days at Glenn at the front office distributing bags. My students and their parents would drive up to the front office of the school, and I delivered the bag to their car.
I LOVED watching the kids’ eyes when they saw the bag. First of all, they were excited just to drive on campus - they miss Glenn so much. They were also excited that they were getting some cool stuff from the chorus teacher. This year has been so different than any other school year. These bags are something special - the kids would not get these free supplies - and the cool bag - if we were on campus as usual.
Aaron Reel owns Reel Realty in Kernersville - he just opened an office in Kernersville. He is one of my former Glenn High School chorus students. He is also a singer in and on the board of the Heart of the Triad Choral Society, the community choir I direct.
When Aaron heard that I wanted to provide some school supplies that would help my students get through this period of remote learning, he immediately jumped on the opportunity to help me! He loved being in the chorus at Glenn when he was in high school - he was in the Glenn Concert Choir for four years.
“I went to Glenn High School 2004 to 2008,” Reel said. “I was actually zoned to go to East Forsyth High School, but, due to the Glenn choir program, I decided to go Glenn. Music has always been my passion. I was actively involved in concert choir with Mrs. Earnhardt, All State, Mars Hill, and N.C. Honors Chorus.”
“She poured into her students with everything she had - and it didn't go unnoticed.”
“I majored in music and communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and found real estate and fell in love with the career and launched my own firm - Reel Realty. Last fall, our family moved back to the Triad to expand my real estate business.”
“One of the first things I did when I moved back was get involved in the Heart of the Triad because I heard Mrs. Earnhardt was the director. After a year of singing, I decided to be their treasurer. At a board meeting in August, we were asking Mrs. Earnhardt if she was ready for the upcoming school year and asked how she was going to do choir through Zoom.”
“She gave us her plan and said there were a ton of supplies she wanted the students to have but she didn't know how she was going to make it happen because it was expensive.”
“My sympathy kicked in and my heart broke. Making music apart is something that has never happened in the school system before. Music is something that is traditionally done together.”
“Hearing that Mrs. Earnhardt was trying to give these kids an option to make music together and learn theory together with these supplies was exciting. I had to partner with her to make her idea become a reality. While COVID currently has these students apart - Mrs. Earnhardt found a way to have music bring these students together. And that right there is exactly why I partnered with her.”
“And I am honored to have had this opportunity.”
Aaron gave enough money to cover the cost of the bags (with printing), contents in the bags, and an individual sightreadingfactory.net account for all of my students. The sightreadingfactory.net accounts will help my students grow in reading music while (and after) we are in remote learning.
The contents of the bag included: spiral notebook, music pencil, pencil sharpener, laminated staff paper, dry erase marker, printed music, a music folder, a racquetball (I use it to help kids "feel" the beat), and a pack of Skittles ( a little something sweet to help them get through these lonely days). We use some of the supplies each day in class.
I always tell my students when they graduate that they will always be my "children." Aaron gave a great gift to his other sisters and brothers at a time when we needed it most!