Fiona Apple has done little more than cover songs in the way of recording since releasing her 2005 album "Extraordinary Machine" -- but perhaps a new song written with school-aged kids in Los Angeles may be her first step toward producing more material.

She and frequent collaborator Jon Brion have signed on contributing to "Chickens In Love," a benefit compilation for children's literacy and creative writing non-profit 826LA. While the pair will compose original music, kids will produce lyrics for the track via workshop.

The release date is TBD, and the compilation will also feature contributions from M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel duo She & Him, Cold War Kids, Tim and Eric, The Submarines, Summer Darling, The Happy Hollows, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Dum Dum Girls, The Growlers, Crystal Antlers and The Pity Party. More info on the organization and the project can be found here. Promises of a mini-festival! Intriguing.

Apple appeared at a Haiti fundraiser in January to sing trad-jazz cover "He’s Funny That Way," contributed her take on a Cy Coleman tune last year, tried her hand at "Sally's Song" on "The Nightmare Before Christmas" soundtrack in 2006 and did her best Elvis Costello impression on "I Want You" for VH1's "Decades Rock Live" that same year.

She and pal Zach Galifianakis have done some silly stuff together too.

After five years as a columnist and editor at Billboard, Katie Hasty joined HitFix in 2009 for music and film reporting out of New York. The Midwest native has worked as a writer, music promoter and in A&R since 1999 and performs with her band Numbers And Letters.