The Les Paul Foundation Helps Little Kids Rock Across The Country

New York and Chicago Public school music classes to receive special visit, surprise Epiphone guitar delivery and will jam together via videoconference

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New York, NY - December 9, 2013 - The Les Paul Foundation announced a grant to Little Kids Rock that will be used to power several music education initiatives in public schools over the next year. In celebration of the grant and music education, Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation, will visit Lower Manhattan Community Middle School MS896, a Little Kids Rock school in New York City on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. Simultaneously Braunstein will videoconference with Edwards Elementary, a Little Kids Rock school in Chicago and both schools will receive a surprise delivery of Epiphone Les Paul electric guitars to augment each of their thriving music programs. Students in both Chicago and New York City will also conduct a jam session during the videoconference. The generous donation comes amidst budget cuts that are eliminating music programming from public schools nationwide. The grant embodies the spirit and legacy of Les Paul, who was an honorary board member of Little Kids Rock.

"Les was passionate about working towards transforming children's lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in public schools," said Michael Braunstein, Executive Director of the Les Paul Foundation. "I am sure he would be overjoyed at his foundation's support today."

Little Kids Rock is the nation's leading nonprofit provider of free music lessons and instruments to under-served public school districts across the country, currently serving over 118,000 children in 25 cities. The nonprofit organization's curriculum, called "Modern Band," is rooted in teaching kids to perform, improvise and compose the popular musical styles that kids already know and love, like pop, rock, hip hop, blues, country, reggae and funk.

With recent funding from the Les Paul Foundation this school year, Little Kids Rock has already provided free training, instruments and resources to teachers in 20 Chicago Public schools, which took place on October 5th and 6th and will result in "Modern Band" music instruction for an additional 2,000 students in the Chicago Public Schools, where Little Kids Rock is currently serving more than 16,000 kids. Epiphone Guitar has provided both schools in New York and Chicago school the opportunity to continue with a vibrant music education platform while giving the students the opportunity to learn on the best guitars available.

"We are so grateful to the Les Paul Foundation for investing in the next generation," says Little Kids Rock Executive Director and Founder, David Wish. "Through their contributions thousands of kids will receive the lifelong gift of music education. The legacy of a true rock and roll legend will live on in the music that they learn to play and the successful lives they will lead because of it."

WHEN: Wednesday, December 11th (9-10 am CST / 10-11 am EST)

WHERE: Two Little Kids Rock school locations…

  • Chicago: Edwards Elementary (4815 S. Karlov Ave. Chicago, IL 60632) Parking available in school lot.
  • New York: Lower Manhattan Community Middle School- MS896 (26 Broadway, 6th floor New York, NY 10031 Parking available in lots near South William and Broad Street.

WHAT: Little Kids Rock classes in Chicago and New York City will be receiving a special visit, and a surprise gift of Epiphone guitars from the Les Paul Foundation -- a number of Epiphone Les Paul guitars to augment each of their thriving Modern Band music programs, which are powered by Little Kids Rock. Students in both Chicago and New York City will learn about Les Paul's contributions to modern music and then will videoconference together for a jam session.

Media are invited to attend, film and take photographs.

About Little Kids Rock Little Kids Rock is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that transforms children's lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in public schools. Little Kids Rock was founded in San Francisco in 2002 by David Wish, an elementary school teacher who had grown frustrated with the lack of music education funding at his school. Today, Little Kids Rock is one of the leading nonprofit providers of free lessons and instruments to underprivileged children in US public schools, and has served more than 250,000 students at over 1,700 schools in 25 cities nationwide. Little Kids Rock Honorary Board Members include Bonnie Raitt, Slash, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Ziggy Marley and other well-loved artists. More information can be found at: www.littlekidsrock.org.

About The Les Paul Foundation The mission of the Les Paul Foundation is to honor and share the life, spirit, and legacy of Les Paul by supporting music education, engineering and innovation as well as medical research. The Les Paul Foundation is an approved IRC 501(c) 3 organization that awards grants to music, music engineering, and sound programs that serve youths. They establish music-related scholarships for students and provide grants for medical research and programs relating to hearing impairment. The Les Paul Foundation also supports public exhibits displaying Les Paul's life achievements. Learn more at www.lespaulfoundation.org.