R&B singer John Legend is known for crooning ballads, skillfully playing piano and performing hits with some of the biggest names in the business.
But heâs also known as a humanitarian of sorts in the education world, and on Monday was on hand for an event at Stockard Middle School in Dallas to shine a light on the Teach for America program.
Hundreds of eighth-grade students applauded loudly as Legend was introduced on stage.
âWe believe itâs so important that every kid in the country gets a great education,â he told the students. âI believe in theÂ American dream. I believe that education can change your life.â
Legend is on the national board for Teach for America, known for its recruitment of top college students to teach in low-income communities. He was joined on Monday byÂ officials from Teach for America and Plano-based J.C. Penney Co., which donated $5,000 Stockardâs music program.
Also highlighted was an initiative under the retailerâs âjcp caresâ program, which involves asking customers to round up their store purchases to the nearest whole dollar in September to donate to Teach for America.
Legend spent time at the event stressing the importance of getting a good education and the benefit of schools having good programs for the arts.
âStudies have shown that schools with the arts do better,â he said.
The 33-year-old Grammy winner has been involved in various education initiatives, including as a board member for Harlem Village Academies, a network of charter schools in New York.
Bree Arsenault, senior managing director at Teach for America, said Legendâs appearance helps raise visibility for the âjcp caresâ initiative.
âWeâre incredibly grateful for all theyâre doing,â she said. âWeâre so honored.â
Legend said that his success couldnât have happened without great schools and great teachers. âI donât take it lightly the work that teachers do,â he said.
Legend grew up in the working-class city of Springfield, Ohio, was homeschooled on and off, and attended private school before enrolling in public school. He graduated at 16 and headed to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelorâs degree in English.
Student Daniel Calderon, 13, was excited with Legendâs appearance and believes it will have an impact at the school.
âI think it was good, mostly the fact that he showed up,â he said. âThat really means a lot to us.â
. Bookmark the