Little Kids Rock


Bldg E2
271 Grove Ave
Verona, NJ 07044
County: Essex


Ms. Gina Sideris

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For training, equipment, and educational resources to give up to 15 NJ teachers the opportunity to create Modern Band programs at their schools, to potentially reach 1,425 new students. Also, to give up to 20-30 NJ teachers already trained in LKR pedagogy the opportunity to refresh their training and gain additional equipment and educational resources to expand their programs and potentially serve an additional 100-150 students.

Organization Background

Little Kids Rock (LKR) transforms children's lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in our nation's public schools.

Little Kids Rock began in 1996 as an informal effort by David Wish to give his Bay Area second grade students a music enrichment program, as the school did not have funding for a curricular music program. Borrowing from friends and scouring area flea markets for instruments, he began offering free after-school guitar classes. The curriculum Dave developed captured the students' interest because it had them playing, within minutes of teaching, the types of music they listen to, and enabled them to improvise and compose freely around a basic network of ideas and skills.

Soon Dave began to train other volunteer teachers, and in five years, the project grew exponentially. As many other cities drastically cut their school budgets, the mission became clear: he left teaching to focus on developing this initiative. LKR was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2001, and has since expanded from serving 500 students in the Bay Area to serving more than 118,000 low-income public school students.

The organization coordinates its national program from one office headquartered in Verona, NJ. The team develops and implements teacher training, creates and disseminates curricula, coordinates teacher and student registration and evaluations, manages instrument inventory, implements the organization's fundraising plan, and oversees all administrative and fiscal activities. The backbone of the program is the 1,062 teachers who volunteer their time to implement LKR classes in their schools.

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