Idol Donation

Checotah, OK – Underwood donates instruments to hometown schools

CHECOTAH, Okla. (AP) Country music star Carrie Underwood is donating $117,000 worth of musical instruments to music programs in three schools in her eastern Oklahoma hometown.

Underwood joined her fifth-grade music teacher, Kathy Cooper, at the Checotah High School auditorium Friday morning to make the announcement in front of hundreds of students.

Underwood says Cooper gave her her first chance to perform on stage and that she's grateful her career has given her the opportunity to give back to the schools.

Underwood recently started a nonprofit known as Checotah Animal, Town and Schools, or CATS, which joined with the Academy of Country Music's Lifting Lives program.

ACM spokeswoman Brook Primero says all the instruments were bought through Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs at a special philanthropic rate.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.