Music is the Key

Student Interns

Music is the Key

Interns are, from left, Angel Morgan, Blake Carson, and Tanner Smart.

     A group of students has given up part of their summer vacation to become interns on a project that connects their classroom to a real world experience.

     Second year Digital Media students at DeSoto County Schools Career & Technical Center—West were given the opportunity to collaborate with Northcentral Electric Power Association and Justin Jaggers for “Musicians for Le Bonheur.” This group provides a promotional platform for Memphis area musicians, as well as a way to raise money for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.  The result will be an album of original songs by Memphis area artists that will be sold to the public.

     The students are Blake Carson, Angel Morgan and Tanner Smart.

Teri Gordon checks Tanner Smart’s setup before the show.

     Since the Digital Media students showed such interest in music-driven projects, Jaggers invited students to become summer interns on a program he started in college, “Musicians for Le Bonheur.” His goal was to produce a music video to promote the album featuring 40 Memphis-area musical groups.

      Artists were allowed to perform a set of songs in the Le Bonheur performance area one day a month. During the performances, patients who were able to leave their rooms circled the performance area in red wagons, swaying to the music. Other patients watched the live performances in their rooms on closed circuit-television.

     “It is very emotional for me to see that we were bringing joy to sick children,” said 11th grade student Blake Carson.  “As we helped record the performances, we also saw parents pause from dealing with a sick child and all the stress that comes with it.”

     Working on this project had special meaning for Blake since she spent the first month of her life as a patient at Le Bonheur.

     “I had a condition known as ‘failure to thrive,’” she said.  “My parents said I would not eat and became dehydrated.  I was also treated here when I broke my arm, and again when I had a concussion.  My parents have said this hospital is my second home, so it is great to be a part of a project that will raise money for this special place, see adults relaxed, and patients happy.”

     “Giving back is a core belief of Northcentral Electric EPA,” said Jaggers. “We believe in supporting schools and giving back to the community.  This project does both.”

Digital media teacher Teri Gordon, from left, helps Tanner Smart, Northcentral Media specialist Justin Jaggers, Blake Carson, and Angel Morgan set up sound equipment.

     Teri Gordon said she is so appreciative of Northcentral’s involvement, and noted that Jaggers has given his time, talents, resources, and knowledge to these student interns.

     “Justin knows how difficult it is to be an intern and learn the mechanics of recording and filming,” Gordon said.  “It has been a gratifying experience to see my students use the skills they are learning in the classroom and apply them to such a wonderful and heartwarming cause.  The joy the musicians have brought to the children at Le Bonheur will remain with me forever.” 

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DeSoto Central High School Receives Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant

DeSoto Central Nurse Ellen Bickley accepts a $2,885 grant from Lowe’s Southaven Assistant Manager Jeremy Wilson.  From left to right, Brooks Turner, athletic trainer with OrthoSouth, Wilson, Bickley, and DCHS Assistant Principal Timothy Chrestman.

     DeSoto Central High School will soon have emergency medical kits on hand for each wing of their school, thanks to a $2,885 grant from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant.

     DCHS School Nurse Ellen Bickley wanted emergency kits on hand for all areas of her school. DeSoto Central High is one of 545 schools across the United States to be awarded a Lowe’s education grant this spring for improvement projects.

     “We wanted to be able to provide immediate care to our students,” Mrs. Bickley said.  “Our students, faculty, and staff are dispersed among six large hallways with one of those hallways being detached from the main building.  We wanted to be proactive and ensure that we had enough first aid/emergency medical supplies to care for our students. Our goal is to have the new emergency packs ordered and in each hallway near the beginning of the new 2019-2020 school year.”

     Lowe’s Toolbox for Education has provided nearly $45 million in grants to more than 10,000 schools, benefiting more than 6 million school children.

     “The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program delivers on Lowe’s commitment to improve the educational environment for students across the country,” said Maureen Ausura, chairwoman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.  “We’re honored to work with DeSoto Central High School to support the needs of our local students, teachers, and families.”

     Since 1957, the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation has helped improve communities across North America through financial contributions and support for employee volunteerism.