Sometimes, a positive TV news story can move a viewer to make a difference. Here’s a story about how a report from New York was seen by a viewer in Washington who got a shipment of musical instruments in Cleveland sent to a teacher who won the Grammy Award for Music Educator of the Year.
The list of Market Share columns on TVNewsCheck highlighting stations’ community contributions is extensive, from telethons for disaster victims to feeding the hungry, from voter registration drives to political debates, from pet adoption initiatives to specials on foster care, from gifts for needy kids during the holidays to collecting winter coats to keep them warm.
There are many examples of how stations help schools, students and teachers, from giving books to schools to specials on diversity and anti-bullying, from back to school fairs to school supply drives, from honoring award winning teachers to showcasing outstanding students.
I have a degree in education so station contributions in that area particularly interest me.
And in addition to these station-wide projects, sometimes a local news story or one on network news can move an individual viewer to act, to make a difference.
Such can be the power of TV news.
For example, Gregg Skall, a Washington D.C. attorney, was watching Tegna’s CBS affiliate WUSA the morning of Jan. 28.
The Grammy Awards were on CBS that night, so WUSA carried a story about Melissa Salguero, a music teacher in one of the poorest districts of New York City.
Here’s a video Salguero submitted about her school.
Salguero was awarded the special Grammy Award presented each year to the Music Educator of the Year. The news story was done by Michelle Miller, a reporter for CBS News.
“This heartwarming story effectively and lovingly showed the enormous effect Ms. Salguero has on these children and the tremendous difference she is making in their lives,” said Skall in a note.
“Some of the students came to tears in explaining what she meant to them. When I saw her story, it occurred to me that my family has been in the music instrument business since the 1920s. I thought we could do something to help Melissa and her students,” said Skall.
So Skall reached out to his cousin, Richard Berger of Grover/Trophy Musical Products in Cleveland, who was more than happy to help.
“Richard saw the video and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it,’” Skall said.
Skall thought a donation of a few hundred recorders (a flute-like instrument) would be a generous gift. Instead, Berger donated 4,100 recorders to the New York City Public Schools. The donation not only will provide Salguero’s students with their own musical instruments, but also benefit other needy children in the area.
The recorders were delivered to Salguero’s school on Sept. 14.
Berger said the delivery went smooth although, unfortunately, we have no pictures of the exchange.
“I had a nice conversation with Melissa who called to say thank you,” said Berger.
“Now it’s my turn to thank YOU for getting us involved. It was a win/win for everybody.”
Thank you, Gregg Skall, for this story and for getting involved.
Thank you, Richard Berger, for your generous donation.
Thank you, Michelle Miller, for such a powerful story.
And thank you, Melissa Salguero, for being such an inspiration.
And of course, a special thank you to teachers.
NOTE: I worked with Michelle Miller at WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, and have admired her work both there and at the network.
Click here to read about Melissa Salguero getting the Grammy Award for Music Educator of the Year.
In 2014, $30,000 worth of musical instruments and technology was stolen from P.S. 48, the school where Salguero teaches. Ellen DeGeneres donated instruments and funds to the school and the school created this video to thank her.
Salguero was also a guest on The Ellen Show.