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OCCTAC News - December 2021

Happy Holidays From OCCTAC!

We are so grateful to our students, program participants, sponsors, donors, volunteers, Board of Directors, and staff at OCCTAC. You are the heartbeat of our mission, and it is a pleasure to serve our community together with the life-changing healing power of the arts.

Happy Holidays! May 2022 bless us all and bring us closer
to the people and things we love!

Thank You To Friends Church For 2ndd Annual Boxes Of Love!

We were able to spread some holiday magic again this year thanks to Friends Church of Yorba Linda and Jon Egger, Director of Missions and Global Outreach. Friends Church donated an amazing 176 Bags of Love filled with toys, art supplies, toiletries, and handwritten notes of love and encouragement! On Friday, December 17, we held a COVID-safe holiday distribution at our center for OCCTAC students and participants. It was a BEAUTIFUL THING to see the look on the faces of families in our community and the JOY on kids’ faces as they received their Christmas gifts.

We are so grateful for your love and support during this time of need in our community. Thank you, Friends Church of Yorba Linda, you give us great joy!


A Year Of Impact For OCCTAC's Programs In 2021

Early Childhood Education

Meet Nari, a 10 month-old baby from Thailand. While in our Early Start program, Nari has learned to speak Spanish and also learned how to walk while in the program! Nari’s favorite Spanish words to say are “alla”, “azul”, and “agua”. We love our little OCCTAC students!


Early Intervention Services for Older Adults (EISOA)

In the last few months, case managers worked hard to provide COVID-19 vaccination locations to our participants. As of today, 100% of EISOA participants have received their COVID-19 boosters!


Family Mentoring Program

Daniel Vasquez is a kind and friendly boy who lives with his mother and grandmother. The mother expressed concerns about the family not being able to financially pay for their rent. We assisted the family in connecting them and submitting the application with the Tenant United program in Santa Ana. After some waiting and following up, Daniel and his family received financial assistance to pay for their rent. We have also assisted the family in connecting them to mental health resources, groceries, and events in their community. The family appreciates and is so thankful for the help!


Mental Health & Emotional Wellness Programs

The Mental Health and Emotional Wellness Department is thankful for the collaboration with all OCCTAC’s programs in the process of connecting and providing emotional support to the families and students in a non-threatening way, with familiar and creative approaches. The Healing Arts is an example of the multi-disciplinary collaboration that brings color and movement the children's emotional expressions.


Prep Arts Academy

Dance Department

These three beautiful flamenco students (Lily, Sasha and Sophi) from the OCCTAC Prep Arts Dance Academy have been very committed and enthusiastic in their studies of flamenco dance with Dance Coordinator Claudia de la Cruz. Once they participated in our multi-disciplined music video project in April 2021, “Oye Como Va”, they were inspired to start taking classes in our Music Academy! It is wonderful to watch how children inspire each other at OCCTAC.

Music Department

The Music Department experienced a big cycle of blessings this year with numerous instrument and scholarship donations. One such inspiration was from the Deming family who was gaining a bundle of joy in a few months, but had run out of space in their place. The new dad-to-be Andrew was heartbroken to give up his hobby of playing but decided to find a new home for his drums, cymbals, stands, and hardware. Now if you walk down our halls you can hear the loud clanging of cymbals, the sound of the heavy bass drum, and snare along with smiling students. Andrew Deming and family, our hearts are full of thanks for giving our students new creativity and joy with playing your Pacific drums! Thank you!

Media Arts Department

On May 31, OCCTAC received a generous donation from the Richard Ciolek-Torelle family in memory of their son, James Brandon Ciolek-Torelle. This donation of a complete DJ system came with two beat machines and a synthesizer with all the accessories to perform in a live event. This kind and generous donation expanded our Media Arts department by offering a new DJ class for the fall 2021 semester!

Visual Arts

OCCTAC Visual Arts met the Covid challenge by meeting students’ needs, and our highly skilled staff helped alleviate their anxiety with supportive Art. Pictured here is a mixed-media watercolor by Paola Sanchez (with Mother Josefa Damian), a fourth grader at Adams Elementary School in Santa Ana, who was part of the Santa Ana Unified School District’s Engage 360 Extended Learning Program with OC Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center. The project aimed to help youths with social-emotional learning during the pandemic. Paola’s work was featured in the Press Enterprise’s Editorial feature entitled, “How Students Are Using Art To Channel Covid-19 Fears” by Allison Escobar.

(Photos courtesy of Mark Dominic Dimalanta, OC Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center)


Wraparound Tutoring

OCCTAC Tutor, Albert Davis, has been working with *our student for several months. At first, our student was failing with a grade of 30%, primarily because of their medication symptoms. Albert helped our student with organization skills and they started to set reminders to help them be more organized. Because of organization, our student’s math grade has gone up almost 30%!

(*student's name withheld for privacy)


Youth Employment Program

Jocelyn has worked with both of our case workers Elizabeth Partida and Paola Olivares this year. Elizabeth helped her find career options relating to childcare and with keeping up with her current job, and Paola has helped her with her resume and school application to Santa Ana College, where she is looking to join the child development program. Jocelyn is a resilient young lady; she is caring and compassionate, with a great passion to work and help young children making her goal to work in child development and care much stronger. Jocelyn is happy with her progress and said, “the YEP program has helped me out with wanting to re-enroll in college and achieve my career goals."


It's Not Too Late To Donate!

OCCTAC's Year-End Giving Campaign

If you haven’t had a chance to make a gift, don’t worry, you can still be a part of our Giving Tuesday success! We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to our Giving Tuesday fundraiser this year. Thanks to your generosity, we have raised over $44,000 so far! As we transition to year-end, please consider donating to OCCTAC and help us with our mission to provide innovative, artistic, educational, and therapeutic programs that inspire and transform children, at-risk youth, and their families to fulfill their highest potential.

We are still accepting donations, so please give now to make a difference.

Donate today and join the superheroes that gave so generously to our families this year. Thank you for supporting OCCTAC and our mission in 2021!


Preparatory Arts Academy 2022

Spring Registration

Classes for our amazing Preparatory Arts Academy are open for registration now! Studio Arts, Dance, Music, Media Arts and more! Call us or visit our website for more information on how your students can be part of the OCCTAC dream!

OCCTAC: 714.547.5468


Need A Vaccine?




You Can Help OCCTAC Today! Become a Donor

Did you know that when you donate, you are improving your own health as well? A study by the University of Oregon found that donating activates the pleasure center in your brain. Voluntary donations are especially pleasurable and improve your happiness, joy, and contentment! OCCTAC is forever grateful to our Supporters and Community Partners! Their donations and support continue to help our Arts Center grow and bring opportunities to our families and community, and you can be part of this as well!

Please help OCCTAC by sharing our Social Media links, liking our page, sharing our events and donating to our center! Find out how by clicking on the link below:

Donate with Amazon Smile!

You can help OCCTAC today by donating money, choosing to donate on a recurring basis, or by designating “Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center” as your charity when purchasing through Amazon via their Amazon Smile program at Here are the simple steps to designate OCCTAC as your charitable organization to receive a portion of the purchase price:

  1. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select “Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts” to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

  2. If you already use Amazon Smile for another charity, you can change your charity to "Orange County Therapeutic Arts" on your Amazon Smile home page. ​

We appreciate you and your continued support of OCCTAC’s mission to provide innovative, artistic, educational and therapeutic programs that inspire and transform children, at-risk youth, adults and their families to fulfill their highest potential.

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