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Music Education Grant Boosts VAPA Academy 

This fall, Westmont Elementary School will launch its Visual & Performing Arts (VAPA) Academy, becoming the first elementary school in OVSD to offer a beginning band program for fourth and fifth grade students. With this is mind, Westmont worked collaboratively with Steve Venz, VAPA Coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, to pursue a funding opportunity from Buchanan Street Partners real estate firm.

In April 2017, OVSD proudly learned it was a recipient of a $50,000 Buchanan Music Matters grant. In July, the Board voted unanimously to ratify the Buchanan Music Matters Orange County Music Education Grant and 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the Buchanan Children’s Charities and the Orange County Community Foundation.

As a recipient of the grant, the District will be able to launch its first VAPA Academy in fall 2017 at Westmont Elementary School and purchase musical instruments (band, strings, and/or guitars) for its first-ever elementary band program, which will expand the school’s existing performing arts offerings, including chorus and theater. Not only will students learn to play these instruments, they will receive instruction in basic music reading skills and basic note reading, and learn basic band principles to promote competence, positivity and teamwork. Long-time elementary music teacher Kim Robles will design the new band program, instruct students, and continue to ensure that music education remains a key program at Westmont.