Something good happened in Erie – 11/28/2018

Corey Cook – local “hero teacher”. |Image by ABC News.

Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:

Equality of opportunity is a bedrock American promise, but it is so much easier said than done. We are born to different parents, live in different neighborhoods, go to different schools, are exposed to so many different things – due only to the circumstances of our birth, some of us are exposed to more opportunity than others. You might think, “That’s just life.”

Corey Cook doesn’t accept that. Cook is described by Good Morning America as a “hero teacher” not because he did some superhuman thing, but because he dedicates so much of his time providing at-risk, inner-city kids with an opportunity to learn that they would not otherwise have.

This is really an awesome story. Basically, Cook knows there are kids out there without access to the steady, patient teaching and mentorship it takes to learn to play music. So he works with the local YMCA to provide kids with instruments.

He teaches them, and he listens to them. He respects them, and they respect him. The kids learn about different instruments, they learn the notes, how to read music, and how good it feels to play. They get hooked.

Recently, these kids wrote a piece of music good enough to be played by the Erie Philharmonic, which one kid describes as “life changing.” Imagine being an under-privileged kid and seeing your creation played to a crowd by professional musicians.

Chances are, we all know some people that are all too content to sit back and complain about the state of Idiotville. They’ll state with authority things like, “poor people are too lazy to succeed”, but they don’t know any poor people and they aren’t about to donate their time.

It falls to folks like Corey Cook, then, to pick up the slack and offer a hand up to some kids that are so hungry for a shot to show their talent. And Corey Cook isn’t about to let that opportunity pass him by.

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