One Valley mom knows the power of music after her son, who was struggling to read, started playing in band.
Jennifer Crews says once her son started learning to read music, it also improved his ability to read words.
Eventually, Crews realized there is a great need across Arizona for students who want to play an instrument but can't afford the instrument itself.
In 2008, Crews started Desert Sounds to meet the need.
The beginning was small -- she organized everything around her kitchen table and started loaning out instruments to students. In the first year of operation, Desert Sounds loaned out about 70 instruments. The following year, about 200. Now in 2017, Desert Sounds is loaning about 500 instruments to students all across Arizona.
The program has grown so much, it recently moved from its location in Tempe to a larger location in Mesa. The program not only loans the actual instrument but also offers classes.
Desert Sounds will hold a ribbon-cutting in February. Crews says one day she hopes to loan 1,000 instruments to students.