The West Springfield resident learned to play the guitar four years ago while attending the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps’ Experiment With Travel School, a special-education program in Holyoke for students with emotional, educational, and behavioral issues. Now 20 years old, he is a gifted guitarist, singer, and composer who is studying music at Holyoke Community College.
Manley’s visit originated with Rivers eighth-grader Jonah Chates of Wayland, who was inspired by Manley’s story to collect musical instruments and other items for the Children’s Action Corps as part of his bar mitzvah community service project last fall.
Jonah donated a mandolin, ‘‘fluke’’ guitar, trumpet, bongos, maracas, a CD stereo system, and about 20 CDs. Now the Rivers School is collecting musical instruments and other items to donate to the organization’s program.
During his visit to the Rivers School, Manley will perform on the acoustic guitar, discuss his work as a music teacher as part of the Children’s Action Corps program, share stringing and fingering techniques, explain how to read music and store guitars, and answer questions.
‘‘Having Aaron perform at the Rivers School and discuss his love of music with our students will show our students how one individual can have a greater impact on the community and society at large,’’ said Laura Brewer, community service coordinator at the school.