Irvine Unified School District students, teachers and officials thanked Irvine Company Vice President of Community Affairs Robin Leftwich (left) this week for the company’s 20-year commitment to support art, music and science education in grades 4-6.

Irvine Co. partners with Irvine schools for 13th straight year

The company’s 20-year commitment has helped raise test scores in the district

by Tom Berg

For the thirteenth straight year, Irvine Company has contributed significantly to the Irvine Unified School District for its Excellence in Education Enrichment program.

The contribution is part of a 20-year commitment to fill the funding gap in providing art, music and science teachers to every fourth-through-sixth grader in the district.

“This commitment from Donald Bren and the Irvine Company really is a symbol of what makes our community great,” said IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker. “It’s a reminder of the partnerships we have. And this is one of the greatest examples of that in the state.”

Irvine Company began its partnership with IUSD in 2006. Since then, the company’s contributions have helped provide 80,000 elementary students with classes usually available only to secondary students.

As a result of this program, IUSD students outperform their peers in California and the nation in science and visual and performing arts.

“It’s a pleasure to see how this program allows elementary students to develop a passion for art, science and music before they even reach middle school,” said Irvine Company Vice President of Community Affairs Robin Leftwich, who addressed the IUSD School Board this week. “We’re proud to be your partner.”

The Excellence in Education Enrichment program pays for highly specialized instructors to provide every student in grades 4-6 with two 1-hour science lessons per week, two 40-minute music lessons per week, and six 1-hour art lessons per year.

It distinguishes IUSD schools nationally.

“Here in Irvine we want to look at the whole child and give them the ability to be a critical thinker and an analyzer,” said School Board President Lauren Brooks. “What this gift does is help us to create the whole child.”