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Principal helping students thrive with violin lessons in Pinellas County

Posted at 10:54 AM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 11:00:28-05

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A principal in Pinellas County is helping her students thriving through violin lessons.

Dr. Anne Penny, the principal at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, is making sure every student in grades three through five takes violin lessons.

"Very few of them, when you ask their parents, ever entertained the idea ever playing violin," Penny added.

The results have been nothing short of extraordinary.

"Well first of all, our test scores have risen significantly. We are to the point where most of our classes are in the ninetieth percentile, most of our school is in the eightieth percentile."

And they’ve become performers at local festivals, events and even at Disney.

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Father Gary Dowsey tells me this school has always embraced the arts and it makes the kids happy to be there.

"If you come with a happy heart into your school you're ready to achieve great things," Dowsey said.

Dr. Penny has almost everything she could ask for, except...

"Kids. I want more kids, we’re not at capacity right now and it would be wonderful to share this with more families," Penny said.

Donations help provide students with violins that can’t afford them and scholarships are available too.

"It has changed their life and it is changing everyone's life they interact with, it's pretty cool"

Check out the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School website for contact information if you're interested in enrolling your son or daughter into the program.