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Garfield High gets $5,000 donation for arts programs

February 12, 2010 |  4:47 pm

As students cheered during a lunchtime ceremony, Ozomatli band members presented Garfield High School with a giant $5,000 check to put toward the school’s arts programs.

“I feel like public schools in California are way underfunded and it’s a shame. So it’s partly to bring attention to that,” said Raul Pacheco, a guitarist and vocalist for the band.

After the Los Angeles-based band had helped to judge an arts contest put on by the Got Milk? campaign, the campaign told the band it would donate $5,000 to the high school of its choice.

Pacheco said the group chose to give the money to Garfield partly because the struggling school, whose 2009 academic performance index score sits at 594, was one of 12 existing campuses whose management was put up for bid late last year.

“We thought it was important to support the kids through that shift,” Pacheco said.

Assistant Principal Frances Vilaubi, who accepted the check along with student body president David Soto, agreed.

“We open our arms to that,” she said. “It’s a great positive in a time when there’s change.”

Vilaubi said she hoped to use some of the funds to pay for arts-themed field trips around Los Angeles, from excursions to museums to outings to the opera.

--Amina Khan