Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Year in Review

The Monterey County Chapter of Guitars not Guns is growing. In 2012 we held fifteen 8-week classes throughout Monterey County and donated 128 guitars.
Thank you to the twenty volunteer guitar instructors that donated their time to make it happen.   Classes were held at the Boys and Girls Club in Seaside; at Marina High School; at the Marina Youth Center; Harden Middle School in Salinas; the Salvation Army in Salinas; Fairview Middle School in Gonzales; North County High School in Castroville and at the Rancho Cielo Youth Campus in Salinas through their Silver Star Program and the Drummond Culinary Academy.  Classes are in the works for 2013 and we plan to start up in 3 more South County communities – Chualar, Soledad and King City. 
The goal of Guitars Not Guns is to help prevent violence in schools and on the streets by providing foster kids and at-risk youth with focus and self-actualization. We aim to empower them with the most fundamental tool to succeed: Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. 
Using music as a catalyst we encourage children and teens to use their creativity to foster personal development and to help divert them from self-destructive influences such as drugs, alcohol and gang-related activities. By providing free guitars and lessons we hope to engage their creative potential and help them achieve their dreams. 

Our programs are for children and teens ages 8 - 18 using low teacher-to-student ratios. Each class consists of a maximum of 10 students with three adult instructors. In addition to learning how to master changing from one chord to another, children learn perseverance, discipline and self-esteem. More importantly, the kids learn to enjoy the interaction and have fun in a group setting. Those who complete the full 8 week program are allowed to keep the guitar and are encouraged to return for Level 2. 

Thank you to also to all of our sponsors and contributors.  We are a completely volunteer organization with no administrative overhead.  Our only costs are for guitars, guitar bags, instructional manuals, graduation certificates and a ceremony for the graduates at the end of their 8-week class. 

This year we were awarded a $5,000 grant from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and we once again received a donation from the city of Sand City from their annual West End Celebration. 

As we continue to grow we are in need of additional volunteer instructors as well as administrators. Contact if you are interested. 

Please feel free to make a donation to the Monterey County Chapter of Guitars not Guns.  Send contributions to Guitars not Guns c/o SLV Management @ PO BOX 101 Monterey, CA 93942 

Guitars Not Guns is a federally exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Your donations are tax deductible.
Steve Vagnini


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Graduations - Fall 2012

Hardin Middle School in Salinas

Fairview Middle School in Gonzales
Marina Teen Center
Marina High School
Silver Star Rancho Cielo
Salvation Army Salinas