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HUDSON -- Looking for a fun night of family musical fun Feb. 23 that will also benefit an elementary school library?
If so stop by Seton Catholic School Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. for a special concert by inspirational singer/songwriter Jesse Ruben.
Ruben, who is known for his inspirational song "We Can," will be hanging out with students from McDowell Elementary School and Seton as part of his "I Can, You Can, We Can" message which will continue into the night's concert with "I Can, You Can, We Can build a Library."
Ruben, who will be visiting Hudson for the third time, called it a really wonderful community.
"Visiting schools and working with students is the most rewarding part of my job, so to be able to help a place that I really love to visit is even better," Ruben, who was recently featured on the "Today Show," said. "Everyone in the community is welcome, not just students and their families! I'll make sure that it's a really fun night. I know that weeknight concerts can be difficult for parents of young kids, so I try to make it the best night out possible for everyone."
The visit and concert by Ruben was coordinated by Kristin LaScola, a third grade teacher at McDowell and the Hudson and Seton Parent Teacher Organizations.
"With our students he goes into each classroom and meets with them and he talks about how he overcame so many obstacles to do what he does," LaScola said. "He talks to them about how they can change themselves, their school, the community, the world, etc., and he then does a small three song concert for them in the afternoon."
The song "We Can" was sent to LaScola, who uses inspirational songs in her classroom, by a relative three years ago during her initial student teaching.
"We loved the message," LaScola said. "We decided to write an email to Jesse to see if we could get him to come visit our school."
Ruben responded right away and paid his first of three visits.
"The visits have been a great opportunity for me, the district, our kids, etc. to make a difference," LaScola said. "We talk about the ways kids can make a difference all the time in school. This is a way they can really come up with some great ideas and see the difference they are making."
Another plus is the students meet a singer/song writer who has overcome to get where he is.
"It's a great message that I think the kids really need to hear... anything really is possible," she added. "He sends out such a wonderful message to the kids and shares his story while doing it. The kids look up to him and really adhere to what he is saying."
LaScola hopes more students realize that anything is possible and that they really can make a difference.
"They are such aspiring little people, and I'd love for them to come up with an idea or project and turn it into a positive difference elsewhere," she said. "I want them to see that their little lives matter, and they can make a monumental difference... it just takes perseverance, effort and hard work."
During Ruben's visits with the McDowell and Seton students, Ruben will be collaborating with his young partners on ways to help others and that it does not take much to make a difference. This year students wanted to create their own initiative, and decided to help a school in need, she said.
"We decided that we can fund a library for Barberton Elementary," LaScola said. "Proceeds from the concert will go towards funding a library for this school. We want the kids to see that we too can and will put in the effort to making a big difference."
LaScola called this year's visit by Ruben great.
"Because, with the addition of Seton, we are reaching out to the community of Hudson to make a difference," she added." It's a great event for the entire family where Jesse will play many of his wonderful songs, including 'We Can' and 'Nothing's Gonna Bring Me Down.' It's an event for everyone... I think everyone is going to like what they hear."
Seton Officials agree.
"We are excited to be a part of the Jesse Ruben visit to Hudson and co-sponsor the concert," according to Patricia Fritz, director of communications and admissions.
Sarah Jackson has been the Seton coordinator of the event.
"It has been a pleasure to work with Kristen LaScola of McDowell Elementary and Jesse Ruben on this initiative to help students recognize they can individually accomplish goals and we can as a community better the world," Jackson said. "Our 'We Can' project to create a library for another school is part of this important lesson, and it is rewarding to know that there will be long term benefit for others."
Tickets can be purchased by visiting hudsonpto.org - under McDowell Elementary.