Music students at Fernwood Elementary School knew they had done something special by holding a supply drive for Sister Schools that helped children in Uganda, Africa, but they were inspired to do even more. Ten years later, the school is now preparing to celebrate its 10th annual Fernwood Elementary Benefit Concert to raise money for Sister Schools through the power of music.
Sister Schools, a local nonprofit serving the Puget Sound area for nearly 30 years now, has worked with many local elementary schools in its mission to open eyes and change lives. Students who participate in the Sister Schools program have an opportunity to learn about the power of personal philanthropy at a young age by holding school supply drives that provide much-needed scholastic materials for students in Uganda. Fernwood Elementary is a showcase example of a school that has participated in the program and became inspired to continue supporting Sister Schools in their own way.
Music teacher, Katherine Berry, and her students were so moved by the experience when Sister Schools first engaged them in 2007 that they came up with a special way to help make an even greater difference, right in their local community. “After seeing photos and videos from Sister Schools’ distribution trip to Uganda that year, showing the direct impact our supply drive had, the students and I were amazed at how powerful one pencil could be in changing lives that we wanted to do more,” said Berry.
Berry and the students then developed the idea of a benefit concert that would not only support Sister Schools through funds raised by ticket proceeds but would also bring together the community through music. The first concert started small, but one of the biggest draws was – and continues to be – local jazz sensation, Overton Berry. Each year since the Fernwood Elementary Benefit Concert has grown, and today still brings together new and familiar faces under one roof to support Sister Schools.
Now a decade later, Katherine Berry is hoping the 10th-anniversary concert taking place on May 25, 2017, will be the most successful yet. “We want to fill the entire room – our goal is to raise $10,000. The students are excited that they can inspire people to give while using their talents in music.”
All funds raised from the concert will benefit Sister Schools.