Irvine Unified School District’s 50th anniversary year kicked off in stunning fashion this evening at the Henry and Renee Segerstrom Concert Hall, with Superintendent Terry Walker accepting a $2 million contribution from Irvine Company, part of a 20-year, $45 million commitment to support arts, music and science education in the district. More than 650 members of Irvine’s nationally recognized honors ensemble chorus and orchestra were gathered in the hall for the annual Donald Bren Honors Concert and joined in celebrating this transformational commitment.
“Many school districts have drastically cut arts education over the last two decades, but Irvine’s program has flourished, thanks to community support like that of Irvine Company and its Chairman Donald Bren. Tonight’s concert is a demonstration of this commitment, a commitment that has resulted in IUSD being named one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation for nine consecutive years,” Walker said.
The Excellence in Education Enrichment Fund, established by Irvine Company’s funding commitment, helps provide art, music and science teachers to every fourth- through sixth-grader in the district. Instruction includes two one-hour science lessons per week, two 40-minute music lessons per week, and six one-hour art lessons per year – all taught by highly specialized instructors. Since 2006, this program has helped more than 100,000 elementary students and has propelled IUSD students to consistently outperform their peers in California and the nation in many of these subjects.
“Education has always been at the core of our planning efforts in Irvine, and today’s contribution continues our Company’s decades-long partnership with IUSD, students and families to support enrichment programs in science, art and music,” said Irvine Company Vice President Jeff Davis.