Third Graders Donate to High School Choir's Dream

The elementary students in Room 17 at Cubberley School had heard that the Long Beach Unified School District All-District Honor Choir was in a bind, so they came through with some cash. The third graders in Donna Potter's class liked the idea of sending LBUSD's best high school singers to perform at a high-profile event with the nation's best young musicians, so they raised their hands and gave the choir $20 they had generated from their ongoing class recycling effort. The Honor Choir, chosen to perform May 13 in the historic 400th anniversary celebration of the founding of Jamestown, Va., still faces a daunting challenge. After surviving a rigorous and competitive selection process to become Southern California's sole musical representative at the event, the 60 talented students learned they had only a few months to raise the more than $70,000 needed to make the trip. Because the school district was forbidden by state law to fund the trip, the musicians turned to the community for help. With two weeks to go before their trip, the honor choir, with representatives from each of the district's seven high schools, is still $12,000 short of their goal. Much of what they have raised has come from the school district community—teachers, students like those in Room 17, parents and employees who recognize the extraordinary opportunity this event represents. But with only days remaining to meet their goal, the students are now turning to the wider community—business and community leaders, service groups, professional groups and others who want the Long Beach students to take the national stage. Donations of any size can be made with a check payable to the "Long Beach Education Foundation," and write on the memo line "Jamestown 2007." Send the check to James Petri, Music Office, Long Beach Unified School District, 1515 Hughes Way, Long Beach, 90810. For more information, call James Petri, LBUSD music curriculum leader, at 997-8175.