Florida based non-profit Kids Rock the Nation (KRTN), Inc. brought down the house during an assembly at Berkman Arts Integration Academy when founder, Anthony Wild, gifted 10 guitars to an auditorium full of energized students.

Kids Rock the Nation promotes self-esteem through musical performance by recognizing and rewarding potential musical talent in children ages 9 to 16.

KRTN chose Berkman Elementary because the school integrates the arts, including music, into all of their curricula. The string program is especially popular with students at Berkman.

With Principal Kathy Cawthron’s vision and leadership, the school began the journey of creating an arts integration academy three years ago. Recognizing the transformational success of the initiative, the Texas Arts Education Association named Cawthron the 2018 School Principal of the Year.

“We are so appreciative of this gift presented by KRTN President, Anthony Wild. He has such a huge heart for kids and encourages them to dream big and work hard.” Cawthron said. “The gift of 10 guitars will provide more opportunities and experiences for many of our students.”

Cawthron said Berkman AIA was recognized at a fundraiser for KTRN later that evening. When she told Wild the story of a student who said the keyboard lab was his favorite place to be and where he felt at home, he used the proceeds from the fundraiser to purchase the student a keyboard, stand, and seat to take home.