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Published May 02, 2013, 06:59 PM

Grand Forks Public Schools win national award for music

Grand Forks Public Schools are getting national recognition for music education. Thousands of districts apply but only 100 schools get the Best Community for Music Education award each year.

Grand Forks Public Schools are getting national recognition for music education. Thousands of districts apply but only 100 schools get the Best Community for Music Education award each year.

Teachers and students I spoke with today say schools nationwide are looking to Grand Forks as a role model for music education.

Choir students at Red River High School say music allows them to express themselves.

Tim Dusek, student: "It also really helps people break out of their shell and helps them be who they want to be.

But many students across the country aren't as fortunate.

Brad Sherwood, Grand Forks Schools Music Coordinator: "With the economic situation the country is in, most of the school districts are cutting the arts."

Not Grand Forks. In fact, their music program is growing and continues to receive nationwide recognition.

Sherwood: "Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota is a shining example of what music education should be nationwide."

Students say it's dedicated teachers who keep the program strong.

Tim: "We have Mr. Sherwood who's an amazing vocal teacher. He really helps us with everything we need to improve on and tells us what we're good at."

Sherwood says he's honored, but gives credit to the entire community.

Brad: "Our enrollments and our staffing and our budgets, just the overall support that the community and the district gives is what makes us be a top 100 school."

Students and teachers say strong music programs provide lifelong benefits.

Brad: "We're singing and making music from the time we come into this world to the time we go out. What we do educationally here just supports and promotes so many things in a persons life."

To apply for the award, Sherwood says he provides extensive data from kindergarten to 12th grade.

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