Country music artist Adam Craig hasn’t forgotten his roots.
The Tenino High School alumnus has donated $8,000 in grants to his hometown school district through his nonprofit, The Adam Craig Foundation.
Administrators at Tenino Elementary School used their share, about $2,000, to purchase 30 new guitars for the music program. Other grants went to purchase new marching band uniforms for Tenino High School, fund the Cispus Outdoor School program and support the Art Alliance.
“I think it’s been a great addition to the class,” Tenino Elementary music teacher Gary Witley said of the guitars. “They all have fantasies of being a rock star.”
The guitars will be used in the school’s fifth-grade music classes, which meet twice a week for 30 minutes, covering music theory, musical notations, singing and now basic guitar, he said. The school has close to 100 fifth-graders, but the music classes are small enough that everyone has a chance to play one of the new instruments.
“I think they’re pretty cool,” said fifth-grader Brittney Maynard, 11. “I’m finally learning how to play.”
Craig, whose full name is Adam Craig Seaunier, moved to Nashville about a decade ago. His band, the Adam Craig Band (formerly TelluRide) recently signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville. Craig’s band has opened for artists such as Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Blake Shelton, and has headlined its own shows across the country.
Craig co-wrote Jason Aldean’s “Church Pew or Barstool” and Parmalee’s “Close your eyes,” and even before the guitars arrived, some of his biggest fans could be found in the tiny town where he grew up.
“Music is just him,” said Tenino fifth-grader Shawn Nicholson, 11, who added that they are are sort of related because they have an uncle in common. “He’s a nice guy.”