Achieve Charter School
After the Camp Fire leveled the small town of Paradise, California, it left the community reeling from its path of destruction. People are now simply trying to piece their lives back together. Lori Pine works in the town as a music teacher for the Achieve Charter School and she remembers tha early Thursday morning in November as one which has forever changed her life and the lives of her students.

"My first thought that day was not just my school family, but my school music students and especially my band members," she says. "Were the kids okay? Did their instruments survive? Did the music room at school survive?"

With so many questions, Lori knew she would be busy over the next few weeks trying to collect the necessary resources to keep the school up and running. She contacted students and staff to offer help for the difficult times ahead and yet the band was still on her mind.

"The voice in my head, whether it was my heart speaking, or God, or both, was driving me to keep music in these kids’ lives,” she says. "Music is important to all and at this time it’s a great source of healing.”

As the days progressed, Lori believed she had to keep the band together and to make it whole again; it was important to her, the kids, and the community.

Band Plays Winter Performance - In The Nick Of Time!

It wasn't long before word got out about the plight of Achieve Charter School. Longtime friend of Lori's, Mary Moxley, contacted The Guitar Center Music Foundation seeking instruments and equipment to rebuild the school's music program. Responding quickly, as the kids needed to rehearse, using our resources and working with Pearl Drums, Mapex Drums, Mitchell Guitars, and Guitar Center, the band received snare drums, cymbals, triangles, ukuleles, a violin, a saxophone, a guitar and accessories such as drumsticks, mallets, sleigh bells, and more.

Hearing of the severe damage to Achieve Charter School, Life Church in Chico has graciously offered its Sunday rooms for practice while the school is being repaired, The band met for rehearsal recently and everything went perfectly, Lori says. When the kids arrived, they were delighted to see each other. This was no surprise considering all they had been through together.

“The kids never sounded better! We began our weekly rehearsals at the new school site, and thanks to The Guitar Center Music Foundation, we were able to have our annual Christmas concert,” she says.

The Guitar Center Music Foundation Executive Director, Lynn Robison, traveled up north to attend the charter school's winter performance. Seeing firsthand what everyone in Paradise had experienced help put it into perspective.

"I enjoyed hearing the kids play their favorite Christmas songs and having such a good time," he says. "The church was packed with family and friends coming from all around Paradise. Everyone just wanted to hear the band perform its annual concert and get a sense that things will return to normal."
Legendary Rocker Loves Music Education!
George Thorogood and The Destroyers has launch its third annual “Who Do You Love?” holiday charity social media campaign , highlighting and promoting charities that are of importance to the legendary group. George picked a few charities that are "near and dear to his heart" and The Guitar Center Music Foundation is honored to have been selected. Click the image to see the YouTube video that George Thorogood created to develop awareness for the importance of music education in our schools. Thanks, George!
Music Teacher Hopes To Spark Interest Beyond Classroom
Magruder Middle School music teacher, David Porush, says that although his students are taught the technical parts of learning to play guitar, such as reading sheet music or playing chord progressions, he wants them to gain much more from the experience.

"I want them to become lifelong learners of music," he says.

It’s not just about strumming the strings to create melodies. P reparation and practice are also important because there is so much more behind the instrument. For example, David helps his students understand the terminology of learning to make music by introducing the history of the guitar.

“I also teach how to sit or stand with a guitar, as well as warm ups and scales,” he says. “Plus how to tune and maintain the instruments.”

It’s clear to see that David is dedicated to helping his kids get the most from learning to make music. This is just one of many reasons The Guitar Center Music Foundation is proud to have provided Lucero classical guitars to Magruder Middle School.
Happy New Year!