West Middle School students rock, raise money for music program

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- In an effort to raise money for their school's music program, 140 students at one local middle school spent the day rockin -- but not with their instruments.

Video games, pajamas, pizza -- if you didn't know any better you'd think students at West Middle School were enjoying a long day off of school. But in fact, they were enjoying a long day in school on a teacher work day and raising money for a good cause.

"Music is invaluable," said Vernon Walker, Principal of West Middle School. "I think the arts in general, but music especially, is invaluable for our students."

Friday, the school hosted it's annual rock-a-thon -- a fundraiser where students collect pledges for their band, choir, and orchestra programs, then spend seven hours rocking in a chair.

"It gets dizzy," said Vanessa Mendoza, a 7th grade orchestra student. "I get dizzy."

They're allowed to do all kinds of things to help pass the time.

"We get to eat junk food all day," said Lucy Raaum, a 7th grade orchestra student.

"We get to hang out with friends and play games and stuff," said Alexis Weis, a 7th grade orchestra student.

But with 34 TV's, 90 gaming machines, 163 movies, and more at their disposal, staying put didn't seem to be much of a problem.

"It's obviously a great time for the kids," said Walker. "They have a great day on a day they wouldn't normally be at school."

All the money raised goes towards helping students pay for instruments, scholarships for music camps and private lessons, and other things.

"Our kids who are involved in music do better academically," said Walker. "They're involved in something that's positive."

The students say they love music.

"We don't learn everything in one year, we have to keep learning," said Raaum. "And it's not boring. It's fun."

And they certainly love rockin.

"We have awesome teachers," said Hannah Kadle, a 7th grade orchestra student.

The students were able to raise about $4,800.

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