WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Over 100 instruments, along with $2,000, were donated to New Hanover County Schools by National Pawn Wednesday.
“The instruments we’ve gotten over the years they are now 20-30 years old. And they do have a life span,” said Noble Middle School band teacher Patti Knauf. "So to have all of these instruments be donated by National Pawn and the money to take care of any repairs or even purchase more instruments is a game changer for our county and our students.”
Knauf said it’s expensive to buy or rent instruments in the first place; maintenance and general upkeep also adds more to that cost.
National Pawn President Bob Moulton does this because he understands the struggles of trying to afford an instrument firsthand.
“We’re able to get more kids into the band,” Moulton said. “When I was in the band, I didn’t realize that I was learning teamwork, mathematics, reading and comprehension... I was just having fun. When you can learn while you’re having fun, and don’t realize you’re learning, I think that’s very powerful.”
Since 2010, National Pawn has donated over 4,000 instruments and $75,000 to preforming arts programs in the state.
In recent years, there has been a push to add the letter "A", for “Arts” into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), to make it STEAM.
“We are leaving out a very important component that brings it all together and that’s the 'A' for ‘arts.’ It’s not just music, it’s visual arts, it’s band, chorus, orchestra, guitar, piano, drama, I mean there are all sorts or different activities that are a part of the A that can make it STEAM,” Knauf said. “It’s not just the tested subjects but it’s something that really includes the entire brain --right and left side and there’s that creativity that pulls it all together.”
The instruments will be stored at Noble Middle School until the school systems determines which schools have the greatest need.