Laela, 11 years old

Laela is an out-going 7th grader who loves playing her bright blue violin.  Three times each week she gets to work with MacPhail teaching artists at her school, Harvest Prep Academy, an innovative charter school based in North Minneapolis that has experienced great success in closing the achievement gap for young African American students.   “I like learning the violin because it is something new for me and I like how it sounds,” she explains, “It has helped my reading and interactions in social studies.”

Her mother, Khadijah, echoes these sentiments. As someone young for her grade who tested into higher classes, her mother has seen how music class has helped her break out of her shell. She says, “Laela is an amazing girl who’s smart, sweet and funny. It can be tough being the youngest in your class, but because of music, Laela is more confident. More out-going.” She continues, “It has strengthened other areas in her education and it is a blessing for Laela to have this opportunity in her school. She is a great representation of the kind of student you’re going to get from a collaboration between a place like Harvest and an organization like MacPhail.”