Paying it 4ward with the gift of music

Pay It 4ward

EDMOND, Okla. – Sometimes when words fail, music can speak.

“There is a wide variety of stories at our school,” Ida Freeman Elementary counselor Amy Smith said. “From great needs to smaller needs. Emotional. Physical needs. Academic needs.”

But not all of them follow along the same story plot or ending.

The demographic may be diverse, but inside Ida Freeman Elementary one teacher is using something can bring out even the most introverted of students. Smith sees every student, every need and every teacher’s effort to meet them, including Madeline Romano’s. Mrs. Romano is a music teacher, and each year she puts together four music programs using her own time and her own money.

“We are just inside Ida Freeman elementary, and I’m here with Amy the nominator along with James Boggs with First Fidelity Bank, and James is the one with the money.”

“Amy there are so many special teachers here at Ida Freeman just like Madeline. So on behalf of everyone at First Fidelity Bank I’m so honored to present you with four hundred dollars so you can pay it forward.”

“Thank you.”

“Let’s go surprise her.”

We sneak down the hall and right up to her door.

“Mrs. Romano, I’m Joleen Chaney with News 4. We have a program called pay it forward, and Amy nominated you for all the work you do with all the children with the music program here at this school, and she’s got something for you.”

“I nominated you for the pay it forward program for you music here at Ida Freeman,” Smith said. “You support our vision, and you promote history and learning and culture and traditions and sometimes humor.”

“Thank you so much…wow. Thanks!”


“I think the kid’s take a lot of pride in their programs,” she said.

Even those you’d least expect. Romano remembers one little boy who quite reserved, but music brought him out of his shell.

“That was cool to see that he had kind of been closed off and then I think performing really got him going,” she said. “He was really excited. Some kids thing is sports. Some kids thing is math, and I think it is important for every kid to have their thing.”

And this thing is touching even the tiniest of students.

“It’s really an all-encompassing subject,” Romano said.

Paying forward the gift of music.

Pay It 4ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.

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