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An Annual Celebration of Music, Art, Fashion, Fun

unnamed (4)REDLANDS, CA – This past Saturday, Music Changing Lives, (MCL) hosted their 8th annual Lights on Afterschool celebration at the Redlands Community Center.  Lights on Afterschool is a national celebration recognizing the importance of after-school programs for children, parents and the greater community.

Music Changing Lives celebrated by hosting a musical performance competition, visual arts display and a fashion show!  MCL students worked for several months preparing for the fun and entertaining celebration.  First place in the vocal competition went to 9 year old singer Valeria Solis who sang “Stay” by Rhianna.

Trisha Sherman is the Art Director at the MCL Redlands location and she worked with her student artists on the visual artworks display, along with coordinating the very stylish fashion show.

Two students, Julian Amaro and Angela Pallares from the Art Institute of San Bernardino who intern with MCL showcased their Spring Bloom Collection for the show, while art instructor Eva Urbano, designed the tutu dress collection for the young female art students strut in during the fashion show.

Program Director and lead Audio Engineer for MCL, Steven L. Hernandez organized Saturday’s showcase and commented, “I started at MCL three years ago and when I started I thought this was crazy because I hadn’t heard about a program like this before. But when I started working with kids who had difficulties and problems, I realized this was one of the places they could come to not only be themselves, but could grow and escape from what they may have to deal with every day.”’

Music Changing Lives offers students at the Redlands Community Center recording sessions, vocal coaching, piano lessons, guitar lessons and art lessons Monday – Saturday from 2pm-9pm for only $20.00 a month.

Former student and guest judge for the event, Jose Mariscal of Moreno Valley discovered MCL during his senior year of high school.  Jose credits MCL to opening many doors for him musically and for giving him confidence to perform and audition.

He also enjoys giving back and helping other young artists who were like him a few years ago.

“I was in bad shape, you know, and music got me to focus on what I love doing. I love singing. I love playing the guitar, the piano, the drums. It’s one of my dreams,” he said.

“We plan to celebrate Lights on After School every year because it not only recognizes the important role afterschool programs play in our communities, it also celebrates the kids in our programs, the arts, the music and all of the achievements we’ve reached,” said CEO & Founder of Music Changing Lives Josiah Bruny.

Afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning. According to data from the Afterschool Alliance, 14.3 million children are without adult supervision in the afternoon hours.

Visit www.musicchanginglives.org to learn more about MCL or follow the movement on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MusicChangingLivesIE

Assemblymember Brown’s Measure to Improve I-10 and I-15 Corridors is Signed into Law

SACRAMENTO – AB 914, a measure by Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino), has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill authorizes the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to implement an Express Lane program in San Bernardino County on the I-10 and the I-15 corridors.

“The Inland Empire is the fastest growing region in the state; and as result, we are subject to the worst traffic and air quality conditions,” stated Assemblymember Brown. “AB 914 gives SANBAG additional tools to reduce congestion and improve our air quality. Additionally, the project creates a significant number of new jobs.”

San Bernardino County is projected to have 3.4 million residents in 2060. The I-10 and I-15 corridors are among the most congested and urbanized in the state, seeing up to 483,000 vehicles per day.  By 2045, these numbers are expected to reach 668,500 vehicles per day, a 38 percent increase.

“AB 914 gives our region the ability to reduce congestion and improve mobility for those that travel within and through our county.  The projects being considered for the I-10 and I-15 corridors are anticipated to produce 11,000 jobs for our region and save $40 million annually in delay costs for travelers countywide by 2045,” said Raymond Wolfe, Executive Director of SANBAG. “AB 914 appropriately requires that we reinvest funds generated from any projects developed on these corridors on local street and road improvements, which means that all drivers would see benefits, even if they were to never use Express Lanes.”

Youth, Parents, and Community Demand San Bernardino City USD Do More to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline

stppSubmitted by Angela Coggs

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Tuesday, October 20, parents, students, and community members in San Bernardino will demand that San Bernardino City Unified School District adopt the Progressive Discipline Policy to do more to reform the district’s discipline that funnel students of color through the school-to-prison pipeline.  The district has used the Progressive Discipline Matrix as a guide to help schools change their practices by adopting strategies such as School-wide Positive Behavior Support and Restorative Justice which has resulted in significant drops in overall student suspension rates from 11% in 2010-2011 school year to 6.4% in 2014-2015 school year.

The community believes that the criminalization of youth of color remains a threat, especially to African American students who continue to experience significantly disproportionate discipline for disruption/willful defiance and face higher rates of school related arrests and referrals to law enforcement than other subgroups of students. Research has shown that when committing the same or similar subjective behavior offenses, African American students are inclined to receive more severe disciplinary consequences (Noltemeyer & Mcloughlin, 2010a; Noltemeyer & Mcloughlin, 2010b; Skiba, et al., 2002).  African American and Latino students combined experience school-based arrests at higher rates than those who complete A-G course requirements and are prepared for college and career.

As California is home to a significant number of state and federal prisons consequently, schools in San Bernardino County experience higher rates of suspension, citations, and school-based arrests in comparison to other counties in the state making this region a direct feeder into the school-to-prison pipeline.  Parents, students, and the community members a new policy that will, among many things, end to willful defiance suspensions, define articulate the role of police on campus and the use of alternative strategies to reduce the use of citations and student arrests in disciplinary matters, and establish a structure for community oversight.

This is effort is being organized by Inland Congregations United for Change, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement, Youth Action Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, in solidarity with Pico California Network and the Statewide School Discipline Action Team, a coalition of community-based and advocacy groups working to reform school discipline practices across the state of California.