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Carnegie Hall in the NYC Marathon: Laurie and PS 22, Staten Island's Story

In the fourth part of our series which profiles members of Carnegie Hall's team who are taking part in the ING New York City Marathon, and the people and communities their efforts support, we meet Laurie Barowski and learn about PS 22 in Staten Island.

Kathleen and Barbara DeIorio

Laurie Barowski first expressed herself through music by taking violin lessons for five years as a child. She runs for Carnegie Hall because she believes music is a common language that gives a voice to people who may not have one otherwise.

Recently, Laurie visited PS 22 in Staten Island and met with its principal, Melissa Donath. Melissa told Laurie about a second-grade class at the school that studied the diverse musical heritage of New York City using a curriculum and materials created by Carnegie Hall. Many of the children were learning English as a second language, and some also had speech impediments. Nevertheless, they were thrilled to find that they could express themselves through the music of different cultures. Some students actually skipped ahead in their workbooks, eager to learn new songs before they were even introduced. The children were especially excited to attend a pair of interactive concerts at Carnegie Hall, which gave them a chance to meet and perform with the very artists they'd been reading about.

The curriculum and concerts are part of Musical Explorers, Carnegie Hall's yearlong program that provides first- and second-grade teachers with the materials and training to teach basic music skills. Musical Explorers brings the rich sound of the city's cultures into the classroom, giving hundreds of students in the New York metropolitan area a new and fun way to learn social studies.

According to the US Department of Education, only 39% of New York City elementary schools fulfill their minimum arts education requirements, so programs such as Musical Explorers are more important than ever. Laurie is proud to represent Carnegie Hall and the voice with which it allows children to express themselves.

Support our New York City Marathon team on Carnegie Hall's crowdrise page ›.

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