American Airlines Partners with Choir Academy of Harlem

Airline Donates 36 Computers for Music Technology Program

Sep 08, 2011, 09:30 ET from American Airlines

NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American Airlines, which has served the New York market for more than 80 years, has formed a partnership with the Choir Academy of Harlem through the PENCIL program. PENCIL builds and supports customized relationships between business leaders and principals to inspire innovation and transform public schools. Choir Academy, located in New York City, serves students in grades six through 12 with programs in three music majors – choral music, instrumental and dance.

To kick off the school year, American donated 36 recycled and refurbished computers, along with printers, monitors, mouses, and cables, to the faculty and students of Choir Academy. The computers will allow the teachers to implement digital music technology programs, and access to the Internet will allow students to research colleges and prepare for standardized tests.

"Choir Academy is tremendously grateful to American Airlines for its generous donation," said Dr. A. Ellen Parris, principal of the Choir Academy of Harlem. "American's gift and support go a long way towards helping create viable opportunities for more than 300 deserving boys and girls at our school."

"Institutions like the Choir Academy of Harlem are vital to the New York community," said Art Torno, American's Vice President – New York, New York City's largest airline employer. "These young, talented students are our future leaders. It is important that we recognize them and help them obtain the proper tools, equipment and technology to further their education."

For decades, American has been a strong supporter of New York's arts and cultural community, as well as the Harlem community. American will work with Choir Academy, through the PENCIL partnership, to build school capacity and enhance the learning experience for students. Student performers will also benefit from increased exposure in the community through public performances and internship opportunities.

Choir Academy was founded by Dr. Walter Turnbull, originator and founder of the Boys Choir of Harlem. Slated to shut down in early 2010 due to poor academic performance, the school received a second lease on life after legal delays postponed closure long enough to let educators raise the school's progress report grade from a D to a B. Most classrooms now have interactive SMART Boards, some courses offer an honors track, and extra tutoring is available after school and on weekends.

Through the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, American recently awarded Harlem Week Scholarships to two New York City high school seniors pursuing higher education. American also provides sponsorships and in-kind support to many organizations serving the Greater New York community, including Citymeals-on-Wheels, Roundabout Theatre Company (American Airlines Theatre), The New York Pops, Lincoln Center Theater, American Ballet Theater, New York City Opera and Harlem Stage. In addition, American supports New York City's Ladders for Leaders, which exposes students to different careers and colleges, providing select participants with round-trip airfare to visit universities outside of New York City. American is committed to the Greater New York community, which more than 11,000 active AMR Corp. employees and retirees call home.

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 250 cities in 50 countries with, on average, more than 3,600 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website,®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve approximately 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 145 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR).

About Choir Academy of Harlem

It is the mission of the Choir Academy of Harlem to embrace every child's unique qualities, while providing a challenging but rewarding educational experience. We believe all children will learn and achieve regardless of the societal influences that may seek to impede their learning process. It is our goal to provide each student with an enriched academic experience that prepares them to be life long learners and productive citizens. We also seek to maximize the musical and artistic talents of our students in the areas of choral music, instrumental music and dance. We understand that in order to reach this goal, we must embrace the school program and school community keeping the pillars of rigor, respect, rights and responsibility as the most important principles upon which the school legacy was built. For more information, please visit


PENCIL inspires innovative solutions to the challenges facing public education by providing results-driven opportunities for the private sector to actively participate in transforming public schools. Our programs share a common premise: by bringing together the best ideas, talent and resources across sectors, we can create real change in our schools. For more information about PENCIL, visit its website at or call 646-638-0565.

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SOURCE American Airlines