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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

NEW ORLEANS- The lines don't slow down at Langston Hughes Academy because it's got parking just steps from the gates of Jazz Fest. It's a bonus the school has benefitted from for years and so have festers, from near and far, mud and all.

'We've parked here for 20 years,' said Wilks Turney, who came to the festival with his grandson from Pensacola.

'It's just an opportunity for us to bring in some extra money to support our kids,' said Mark Martin, principal of Langston Hughes.

Supporting the school actually means supporting the music program. And music fans are more than happy to contribute.

'It's wonderful for everybody, you can't lose,' said Turney, 'It's a win-win for all the kids. My grandson takes music.'

Martin said, 'We have kids who have never even touched a trombone before who are now, two years later, marching in Zulu so just the difference that the band and music makes in our kids lives, especially in New Orleans.'

The collections also go toward sending kids on end-of-the-year trips, like to Washington D.C. Those keeping the effort alive annually are called the Dreamkeepers. They're volunteers, parents and even the students getting the most out of the money raised.

Jason Michael Plain, an 8th grader said, 'I think it's an outlet. You can express yourself with the music.'

'There's a lot of kids that maybe can't afford to go on the end of year trips and other things that go on with the school so this is a big help,' said mother Angel Hurst.

The school hopes to raise $50,000 this year and leaders say they're well on the way to meeting that goal with one day of Jazz Fest left.

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