Charity Group Rescues School Music Program

Times Staff Writer

The La Canada Unified School District's elementary school music program, eliminated from next year's budget because of dwindling resources, has been saved by a local philanthropic group, which will run the roughly $30,000-a-year program at no cost to the district.

The school board last week approved an agreement to allow the Flintridge chapter of the Assistance League, a national charitable organization, to hold music classes for fourth through sixth grades at the two elementary schools and to use instruments owned by the district.

The league will pay for an instructor, charging students $50 a semester for instruction and a rental fee for the instruments. The league will provide the sheet music.

Information about the classes will be included in school registration packets. The music program will also be open to students attending private schools.

If more funds from the state become available, the district will continue the music program on its own, but school board members do not expect that to happen.

"It's highly unlikely that we will receive funds to continue this program," said Irene Mendon, board president. "The board is really very pleased that the league has made this offer to the community."

The league has come to the school district's rescue before, running the summer-school program for first through 12th grades since 1978. The local group supports its philanthropies from sales at its Bargain Box Thrift Shop on Oakwood Avenue.

League member Shirley Myers said the group decided to fund the music program because "it's always been an important part of the community and, if the elementary program was dropped, it would not be too many years before there would not be any music at all."

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