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USC’s Good Neighbors Campaign Goes Into the Home Stretch

by Katharine A. Diaz

ARTWORK produced by youngsters at school often ends up at home on the refrigerator, secured by a magnet.
But thanks to a new program, the drawings and paintings of University Park children will soon be mounted and displayed in a professional art exhibit.
Art in the Village is one of the new programs that received a USC Neighborhood Outreach (UNO) grant this year, funded by monies raised through the USC Good Neighbors Campaign.

THE PROGRAM IS A collaboration between USC Fisher Gallery, University Village Shopping Center and the USC Family of Schools.
The gallery provides arts materials to the schools and invites students to work on various themed art projects. Gallery personnel then curate and install selected artwork inside the food court at University Village. Each exhibition is unveiled at a reception to honor the students.
“Participation in the arts helps students develop methods and habits of mind that help them succeed in many areas,” said Jeanette La Vere, education and outreach coordinator, USC Fisher Gallery. “The arts makes learning easier and more meaningful, and this project allows a number of people – students, teachers, parents, USC staff and faculty – to collaborate in a common cause.”

AS THIS YEAR’S USC Good Neighbors Campaign draws to a close, USC employees who have not yet filled out and returned their pledge cards might be inspired to do so by learning more about programs supported by campaign contributions.
This year, several new initiatives were funded that address needs identified by University Park neighborhood schools – arts enrichment.
Music is the focus of programs coordinated by the USC Thornton School of Music:
• Fresh Start, with the collaboration of the Fresh Start Performing Arts Academy, gives local students choral experience by teaching them vocal skills and techniques.
• Jazz Reach at Manual Arts targets the music program at Manual Arts High School. “With the UNO grant we received, we are able to take our jazz studies program to the high school,” said Bruce Eskovitz, lecturer, Thornton School of Music. “USC students and faculty will help create a big-band jazz program at the school. It will help make USC
students more well-rounded individuals and put them in touch with the real world. And the kids at Manual Arts will be exposed to the university process and learn how to become a part of it.”
These two programs helped leverage a $500,000 grant from Wells Fargo and the Fulfillment Fund that will bring additional programs to the high school.

USC’s Health Science Expo, now working under its third UNO grant, gets youngsters interested in health-sciences-related endeavors. Through the Expo, fifth-graders at Griffin, Murchison and Sheridan elementary schools learn about health professions and basic health and science principles. These students work with USC students to develop experiments that are exhibited and judged at an event in the quad at the Health Sciences Campus.
“Last year, students from the USC School of Pharmacy, the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC Department of Physical Therapy worked with the students,” said Angela Ovalle, community outreach director, USC Civic and Community. “The payoff is seeing how proud the children are to explain their science projects and demonstrate their science knowledge to judges and passersby.”

Other UNO-funded programs at the Health Sciences Campus include the Folic Acid Education Strategies, which recruits and trains lay health workers to educate leaders and residents in East Los Angeles about the importance of folic acid; and Expanding STARS, which provides a mentored, hands-on science experience to students at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School.
A third program is the FUENTE Initiative. “The initiative teaches poison prevention to first-grade students throughout the community,” said Denise Globe, assistant professor, pharmaceutical economics and policy. “It is invaluable to see the faces of these children when our second-year pharmacy students walk into their classroom.”
Although the USC Good Neighbors Campaign concludes on Oct. 31, contributors can continue to make donations and send in their pledge cards after that date.

USC’s Good Neighbors Campaign Goes Into the Home Stretch

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