Weekly roundup: Irvine students launch nonprofit musician program, top teachers honored, and more

Two Portola High School students wanted to start a club for musicians at their Irvine campus. But they also wanted to contribute more to their community.

The Daily Pilot this week featured how Justin Pai, now a 16-year old 11th-grader, was talking to his friend, Zachary Smay, about a club for musicians. But this organization wouldn’t just be about playing music. They wanted to volunteer and serve a purpose outside of school.

A news graphicThat’s how Concerts For Charities (Con4Char) was born. Musicians meet twice a month to play together and plan events. They contact local senior homes and Irvine’s community services department and offer to play for residents, according to the Daily Pilot.

The students will next perform Monday at 11 a.m. during the Irvine’s Veterans Day Event at the Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park.

Musicians include soloists, mini performance groups such as a jazz trio, a guitar and voice group, and a string quartet.

Now word has spread, and musicians from Irvine’s Northwood and Woodbridge high schools have joined, along with students from Santa Ana’s Orange County School of Arts, according to the Daily Pilot.

Con4Char has held recent performances at the Irvine Global Village Festival, as well as the Atria Golden Creek, Sunrise at Tustin and the Via Valencia senior homes, according to the Daily Pilot.

At one senior center performance, Justin played a Rachmaninoff concerto movement on the piano. After the show, a veteran said the piece was one of his favorites and asked to see the sheet music.

Here are some other education-related news stories for the week ending Nov. 8.

  • Sixty-four educators from Orange County school districts and community colleges were honored last week at a special dinner celebration coordinated by the Orange County Department of Education.
  • The Ocean View School District hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at Golden View Environmental Science School for the re-opening of its refurbished farm, which sits on a 2.5-acre site in Huntington Beach.
  • More than 200 families who had outstanding bills for their children’s school lunches in the Ocean View School District received an unexpected surprise recently when an anonymous donor paid off each and every balance.
  • Dino Dash, a fundraiser for the Tustin Public School Foundation, returned for its 29th year on Sunday, Nov. 3, at the MarketPlace. The diverse event featured a 2K Fun Run, a timed 10K and its second-ever half marathon.
  • You don’t have to be superstitious to fear the number 13. Supporters and opponents of a proposed $15 billion school and college construction bond headed for the March 2020 state ballot say they’re somewhat apprehensive of the number, four decades after state voters slashed property taxes and set a cap on property tax increases with the infamous Prop. 13.
  • A legislator wants California to mandate aid applications, like three other states. Beyond all the debate about the types and sizes of financial aid for college, one fact matters most for students and parents — you can’t get grants and loans unless you apply for them.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates or following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.