Ted Johnson so strongly believes in The Salvation Army’s music program that he donated $4,000. As principal of Allesandro Volta Elementary School in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, he sees the benefits of music for his students.
“There is plenty of research showing that music contributes to intellectual development and academic achievement,” said Johnson. The donation was used to purchase more than 100 concert-style music stands to be used in an upcoming recital and for new instruments.
In fact, Volta School and Johnson were recently recognized by the State of Illinois Board of Education for dramatically improved test scores. As a result, Johnson received a $5,000 bonus and shared it with the people and programs that contributed to that success – including The Salvation Army.
“I looked into offering a music program here several years ago and I know what it takes to accomplish it,” said Johnson. “The Salvation Army offers it at no cost to us or our students. I wanted to show my appreciation.”
Students enrolled in the program meet several days a week after school and on Saturday mornings for instruction in brass, woodwinds, keyboard and drums. All instruments and instruction are provided by the Army.
“Ninety four percent of our student population lives in poverty,” said Johnson. “Without the Army, these children would never have this type of access or opportunity.”
Peter Kim, Salvation Army Music School Director, said the support from Johnson is critical to the success of the program. “He really appreciates the efforts and encourages the students to embrace the opportunity,” said Kim. “His gift to the program is just another manifestation of that support.”