Frankfort district will donate chairs to Arkansas school
Sun-Times Media August 5, 2012 7:44PM
Chelsea Intermediate School students show off the band chairs that will be donated to a school in Arkansas. | Supplied Photo
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:01AM
FRANKFORT — Frankfort School District announced that 50 of its surplus music program chairs will get new life at an impoverished school in the Mississippi Delta.
The 20-year-old chairs, which were to be discarded after being declared surplus as required by the Illinois School Code, will be donated to Palestine-Wheatley School District 23 in Palestine, Ark.
The district Band Booster organization recently provided funding for new band chairs for Hickory Creek Middle School, replacing the old chairs. Former student Amber Feigel, now a Teach for America music teacher in the Mississippi Delta, asked the district to consider donating the surplus chairs to her school.
Feigel is a graduate of the district and earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois in 2011. She was one of the 4,000 AmeriCorps members who were accepted out of 42,000 applicants last year. She is director of bands and high school choir director at Palestine-Wheatley School District.
The Mississippi Delta has a high poverty rate and includes regions of Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and other surrounding states, Feigel said.
“Although many improvements have been made in this area, we are still struggling to provide our students with the education they need to succeed,” Feigel said.
Feigel said she is thrilled to be getting the chairs and said the condition of them is of no concern as she is currently borrowing chairs from other classes during rehearsal and has to return them before the class ends.
“I am extremely grateful for this donation, as I will finally be able to provide a chair for every student in my classroom,” Feigel said. “The chairs will increase my teaching time tremendously, and learning time cannot be wasted.”
Feigel’s parents will pick up the chairs and take them to the Arkansas school district.
“It is great to see a former student of ours benefit her classroom through an ongoing relationship she developed with a teacher when she was here,” said assistant superintendent Curt Saindon. “All the credit for making this happen goes to Amber and Hickory Creek band director Dana Shoemaker.
“I am so glad they asked about us donating the chairs. Our board was very happy to donate them and appreciative that they have found a good home in a needy school.”