1+1 – Amy Richards looks to bring live music to her classrooms in rural Meade County
UNION CENTER, S.D.– For Meade County Rural Schools, music teacher Amy Richards drives around to five different locations in order to reach all of her students. And when she found out she was the recipient of a $500 gift card for her classroom as part of the 1+1 Giveaway, she was so surprised she did not what to do.
“I’m just so surprised. I really appreciate whoever nominated me,” she said. “I would like to give a big thank you to them because I really do appreciate it.”
Richards, or Mrs. Richards as she is called by her students, has been teaching for more than 20 years. Her music background comes in part from college, where with her Black Hills State University degree she minored in Vocal Music. She began teaching music in the Faith School District, and stayed for around 15 years until their music program went away. For about 10 years, she has been able to teach music for Meade County students in rural communities.
At her biggest school, Central Meade County School, students were gearing up for their big Christmas show. She does the performances at each school, but creates them based on age and grade level.
“Each program has to fit the number of students and the age of the kids there. So this is the biggest school in the district,” she explained. “And with costuming and everything, it can be rather challenging, But it’s just so much fun because Christmas is my favorite time of year anyway.”
As she sorts through the many opportunities she has now, Richards has already looked at one big addition to her classroom: a class set of instruments.
Her goal is to get a class set of ukuleles for students as a way of bringing the joy and excitement of live music and learning an instrument to the children.
“I really want kids to love music because there’s so much out there and living in a rural area, they’re, you know, a little more limited on what they see,” she explained. “We don’t have orchestras out here, and for them to get to go see a big symphony is probably not going to happen in their lifetime. I thought if I could get a classroom set of ukuleles, I think we can have a lot of fun with those.”
To nominate a teacher in your community, click here.