When we think of some of the best ways to inspire, challenge, and motivate our kids in school, music might be one of the first "magical" tools that comes to mind. Old Navy tapped into the power of song with a charitable new campaign. To kick off the 2017-2018 back-to-school season, and to launch their new cause platform ONward!, Old Navy has released a series of music videos featuring original songs penned and performed by amazing teachers all over the country. The campaign is also a partnership with dad of four Pharrell Williams and his creative collective called i am OTHER.
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The teachers' ONward! videos all hinge on important messages they want to send to their students — and of course all feature Old Navy's new back-to-school collection. And while they're all super-talented on their own and some say they frequently bring music and songwriting into their classrooms anyway, the educators had the added support of Darius Scott, a top 20 finalist from Pharrell Williams' team on Season 9 of NBC's The Voice, who served as the lead music producer on the project and also stars in the ONward! video.
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Here are just a couple of the really cool clips that came out of the project—one featuring Chicago native Dwayne Reed, who created a viral sensation with his YouTube music video "Welcome to the 4th Grade," which actually inspired this current campaign and another from Shani Perez, an Elementary School Arts Teacher at PS 51 in New York City.
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In a press release, Old Navy explains that through ONward!, they'll "partner with nonprofits to empower the next generation with real-world skills, training, and job opportunities to make a difference in our communities and blaze a path forward to a brighter future." They've already been working hand-in-hand with Boys & Girls Clubs for over a decade and have, to date, donated over $10 million to support the cause. The brand has also been committed to providing youth from local nonprofits with 10,000 jobs by 2020 through the This Way Ahead paid-internship and training program.
What's more, to celebrate the back-to-school season, Old Navy is sponsoring a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $1 million to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Boys & Girls Club of Canada (BGCC). From July 27 to August 7, the brand will match in-store customer donations to BGCA and BGCC, up to a combined $350,000. Customers can donate at the register at all U.S. and Canada stores. And if you want to get involved and donate to any of the nonprofits that ONward! will partner with, you'll be able to do that through a new online checkout feature. Sweet!
To see all of the amazing teacher-created music videos, you can head over to Old Navy's YouTube page—and if any of the tracks end up feeling like earworms to you and your L.O.s, you can also stream them on Apple Music and Spotify.