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Dragon Kim Foundation, CSArts & DUSD Partner to Provide Elementary Music Program


The Dragon Kim Foundation's Music Program is a unique educational outreach effort, presented in partnership with the Dragon Kim Foundation, the California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV), and the Duarte Unified School District (DUSD). This after-school program is offered at no cost to students attending a DUSD Academy in Grades K-4 who are interested in learning music in a fun and interactive class setting. This year, both a General Music and Beginning Choir course were offered. In these classes, students learned the fundamentals of music through singing, playing percussion instruments, and movement. Taught by CSArts-SGV and DUSD faculty, the Dragon Kim Foundation's Music Program also brings in current CSArts-SGV students to mentor the young musicians. The students in the class put on an end-of-the-year performance on May 11 to a delighted audience.

The origin of The Dragon Kim Foundation is a heartbreaking story. Dragon was the vibrant and beloved son of Grace and Daniel Kim, who in August 2015 was struck and killed by a massive tree branch that fell on the tent that he and his dear friend, Justin Lee, were sleeping in while camping in Yosemite. Both boys died instantly – at the age of 14. Their parents’ hearts have been forever broken, yet they found a way to keep his spirit forever alive.

As stated in the Foundation’s literature, “The Dragon Kim Foundation was established in their son’s honor to carry on his love of life, to make it possible for other young people to pursue interests in areas in which Dragon himself was passionate, and to help give others the access to a bright future.”

Before he died, Dragon had discussed he’d like to provide a way to bring music instruments and instruction to kids in his community. At his high school, the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) which is the sister school of CSArts-SGV, Dragon had initiated a project to provide music instruction as part of Camp OCSA that offers free after-school arts instruction to the children of Santa Ana. The first project of The Dragon Kim Foundation brought to life Dragon’s dream of helping kids learn and love music. The Foundation has since funded other projects that all support youth programs in academics, athletics, and the arts. In this way they are keeping Dragon’s passions alive.

The newest project the Dragon Kim Foundation selected to support is the launch of a free after-school music class for the children of Duarte. Now in its second year, students elected to participate in this special general music program meet every Friday from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the CSArts-SGV campus. The class is taught in collaboration with DUSD and CSArts-SGV instructors. The lead teacher also provides instruction to DUSD students during the instructional day. This is but one of the many special arts education opportunities available to the children in our community as a result of the one-of-a-kind partnership between DUSD and CSArts-SGV that we are proud to offer.