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Salvation Army Helps Needy Children Start School in Style

BACKPACKS: During “Operation Backpack” on Tuesday at the Salvation Army store in Torrance, needy parents picked out clothes for their children while the youngsters lugged around new, donated backpacks chock full of back-to-school items.

For the second year, Torrance Unified School District, in conjunction with the Torrance Salvation Army, the Girl Scouts, the PTA and the Torrance

Youth Council gave away the backpacks and allowed parents to select $15 worth of free clothes for each of their children.

A $5,000 contribution from the Torrance Youth Council, a group of high school students involved in social service, and $1,600 from community donations helped pay for the clothes and the backpacks.

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The backpacks, which were filled by the Girl Scouts, contained a three-ring notebook, crayons, an earthquake survival kit, and three children’s books.

According to Dave Risher, director of His House, a social service arm of the Salvation Army, 238 backpacks were given out to children. This year, 288 children were invited, over a 100 more than last year’s 150. Risher said those unable to attend Tuesday night can come to His House to pick up backpacks, and will be given vouchers to pick up clothes at the Salvation Army.

Torrance resident Guillermo Hernandez, whose son is in kindergarten, said the donations “helped a lot. So many people need clothes for school time.”

For the children, having something new to take to school “makes all the difference in the world,” Risher said.

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SCHOOL LEASE: The Torrance Unified School District is completing a lease agreement with ARV Senior Apartments Inc., which wants to develop senior citizen housing at the former Columbia School site in northwest Torrance.

Last month a fire destroyed a classroom building at the school, which has been vacant since 1988 because of low enrollment. In November, 1990, the district hired attorney Richard Godino to help market and develop the site as a source of revenue.

The 55-year lease will ensure the district an undetermined percentage of the net revenue from the developers, Godino said. When the lease expires the district will own the development.

District officials say the contract should be ready for board approval at its Sept. 20 meeting.

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Godino said it will be 15 months before construction begins, pending approval by city planners.

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MUSIC MASTER: Music classes taught by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic will be held at the Chadwick School in Rancho Palos Verdes on Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Violin, cello, flute, saxophone and piano classes will be offered to adults and high school students. People who want to listen to the classes are welcome, but there is a $30 admission fee.

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The cost for students is $60, which covers the class, luncheon and refreshments.

Those enrolling must have at least two years of experience with their instruments. For students younger than 18, a music teacher’s authorization is required. Five students will be enrolled in each class.

A concert by the teachers will be held at 5 p.m. in the school’s Vanderlip Auditorium. Admission for the concert only is $15.

The deadline for registration, which will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, is Sept. 17. Information: (310) 377-1543, Ext. 23.

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SCHOOL PRIDE: Zela Davis School in Hawthorne will be getting a face lift next weekend thanks to the efforts of the Hawthorne President’s Council, a group of representatives from local civic organizations.

Representatives from Chevron, and the Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs as well as parents and teachers will gather at the school during “Pride Day,” Sept. 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During the daylong event, doors and windows will be painted, shrubbery planted, desks cleaned, and the playground area resurfaced. And new playground equipment will be installed.

Budget cuts and the Hawthorne school’s year-round calendar have taken their toll on the grounds and equipment, said Cora Travers of the President’s Council. The idea for the spruce-up came from Councilman David York, a Kiwanis member.

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“All of us in the community will be there working with new parents of kindergartners and first-graders,” said Travers. “That experience will help them feel more a part of their new school.”

Travers said volunteers and donations are needed. Refreshments and child care will be provided during the event. Information: Zela Davis School at (310) 679-1771, or the Hawthorne President’s Council at (310) 643-6511.

Items for the weekly Class Notes column can be mailed to The Times South Bay office, 23133 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 200, Torrance 90505, or faxed to (310) 373-5753 to the attention of staff writer Carol Chastang.


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