This Is Where I Live
Jennifer Russell, an award winning songwriter, is dedicated to using the universal language of music as a powerful teaching tool for the spiritual and moral development of our children. She has received The Parents Choice Award and The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval for composing The Virtue Songs, a compilation of 52 original compositions that are the musical companion to 'The Family Virtues Guide.' In this compilation, the powerful and universal message of the Virtues are brought to life using simple melodies and rhythms, thereby reinforcing Jennifer's belief that learning is fun, meaningful and shared through the simple act of singing. In March of 1999 the Character & Ethics Project of the City of Glendale was introduced at a public gathering. When a call was issued for volunteer members to create programs promoting principles of character and ethics within the community, Jennifer was among the first to respond. Months later when the Project needed a theme song for it's January kick-off event, it was Jennifer who volunteered. "This Is Where I Live," a simple and easy-to-learn song was created, conveying qualities of character and ethics in a memorable way. But writing the song was not enough. She also wanted to unite the children of Glendale to bring this message of character to the community through performance. The word went out, resulting in the performance of "This Is Where I Live" by a vocal group comprised of 65 first- through- twelfth grade local students at the kick-off event. The "C&E Kids" community youth choir was launched and continued to perform throughout Glendale for 4 years. In 2003 Jennifer received the Robert A. Sanchis Award of Excellence from the Glendale Unified School District for her extraordinary commitment to the success of students and to the fostering of community relationships to enhance public understanding. The Kiwanis Club of Glendale also awarded her the Golden Apple award for her personal commitment to helping ELL students. In 2004 Jennifer received the Arts Award from the United Church of Religious Science and an Extraordinary Leadership Award from the Glendale Character & Ethics Project. Jennifer founded the "This is Where I Live" project in the fall of 2006. Developed to be used as a Community Sing-Along by students and as a Professional Development for teachers, the project was accepted as a Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Community Partner. Using music and song to contribute to building a new educational paradigm in elementary school classrooms, the project continues to build self-confidence, teach personal responsibility and develop community building skills.