National City - As California faces the largest budget deficit in the state’s history, after-school programs are in jeopardy of being cut. This threat has spurred local homebuilder, Concordia Homes, to partner with National School District (the school district of National City, Calif.) to create a community-wide fundraising program to save Mariachi Juvenil.
Concordia Homes kick-started the campaign with an initial donation of $4,500 that included the production of collateral materials Mariachi Juvenil will use for its campaign and a monetary donation.
Mariachi Juvenil is an after-school program of the National School District and the county’s only elementary age Mariachi band. Approximately 30 students, ranging in age from 7 to 12, are hand-selected from all 10 elementary schools in the National School District and are taught to play and perform the traditional Latino music.
According to Clint Taylor, after-school program coordinator at the National School District., Mariachi Juvenil provides students a safe, positive environment that will lead to academic success, improved school attendance and an increased sense of pride. The group’s most advanced students are in the performance band that has showcased its talents throughout the county.
Concordia Homes and the National School District developed the fundraising program, “Viva El Mariachi,” to raise funds from local businesses and the community for Mariachi Juvenil. The campaign will culminate in July with a celebration announcing the results of “Viva El Mariachi.”
“With looming state budget cuts, it is more important than ever for corporations to seek ways to support the communities in which they operate,” said Randy Hall, chair of Concordia Homes. “We encourage businesses to join us so these children can continue to learn and grow.”
”Without the support of local businesses and individuals in our community, the children of Mariachi Juvenil could lose out on the benefits of this program,” said Taylor. “These children will not only miss out on learning about this historical tradition, but won’t have the benefits of a music education if the program is cut. After school grant funds which are up for renewal in 2005 will not be enough to sustain the Mariachi Juvenil program.”
In addition to learning to sing and play the violin, guitar, guitaron (bass), vihuela (five-string guitar) and the trumpet, the young musicians are educated about the historic tradition of Mariachi music and its role in the Latino culture.
”Viva El Mariachi” is expected to generate the revenue, publicity and community support necessary to continue this unique and relevant offering in the National School District After-School Program.
For more information about making a donation to “Viva El Mariachi” please call (619) 336-7738.