An oversized novelty check and a television crew were at the ready as Hartsfield Elementary School students filed into the music classroom for a big announcement. A few months earlier, those same students created a 30-second video celebrating music for the “Let’s Hear Your Voice” contest. With building anticipation and cameras rolling, they learned that they had won.
For the past three years, WTWC-TV NBC 40 has invited Leon County music teachers and students to participate in the contest and share why they think music education is important.
Though Hartsfield’s music teacher Arnekua Jackson had complete confidence in the abilities of her students, she was concerned about the numbers. “Competing against schools that could be twice the size of ours, I really didn’t know if we had a chance but we tried.”
With an enrollment of under 500 students, Hartsfield is one of the district’s smaller elementary schools. The contest winner was decided by public vote and when accounting for the school’s size, their accomplishment is that much more remarkable. “Everyone rallied behind us. Our community was sharing the video on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and we won,” said Jackson. Getting to that point took inspiration and collaboration. Jackson worked in partnership with pre-K teacher NikkiGlenn and together they composed a compelling melody and lyrics. “I love writing poetry and music,” said Glenn “and when she told me about the idea, I knew we had to go for it.” In addition to the demands of her own classroom, Glenn regularly offers her assistance to Jackson in the music room. “I like to get in where she needs the help. I like to be her backbone and her support. I try to be there for her and the kids.”
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