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OCCTAC News - July 2022

Congratulations to Our 2022

Pre-K & Early Start Graduates!

Pictured here: Class of 2022 OCCTAC Pre-Kinder Arts & Early Start graduates.
Photos courtesy of Claudia Maravilla Mora.

We are so proud of our OCCTAC Early Start and Pre-Kinder Arts graduates who graduated the last week of June! The students celebrated their accomplishments at our center with their families, OCCTAC staff, and volunteers. Early Start graduates will move up to OCCTAC’s Pre-Kinder Arts program in the fall, and Pre-Kinder Arts graduates will attend various public and private schools in the area. The OCCTAC Early Start and Pre-Kinder Arts program serves very young children (ages 6 months old to 5 years) with and without special needs and their parents. These early intervention programs aim at educating parents and their young children together, in a natural community environment that enhances students’ cognitive, language, motor, and socio-emotional development. It helps children improve their developmental skills in a fun, creative, and learning environment. Our programs combine traditional school-ready education with arts education to maximize their learning and fun! OCCTAC’s Early Start and Pre-Kinder Arts are bilingual (English/Spanish) and multicultural programs that serve very young children, ages 1 year to 4 years old. Parents and children work together in a nurturing and creative environment by engaging in music, art, school readiness activities, and parenting education. Through age-appropriate activities, children learn with a hands-on approach and develop the necessary skills to prepare them for kindergarten.

Looking for a preschool option for your child this fall, or know a family who is?

Visit our website to enroll now at



CALL TODAY TO ENROLL! (714)547-5468


OCCTAC Hosts Student Art Exhibit

at Santa Ana Arts Collective

By Grace Song, OCCTAC Marketing Intern

Photo courtesy of Mark Dimalanta.

Photos courtesy of Carlos Beltran.

OCCTAC showcased artwork from its Preparatory Arts Academy students in July, made possible by The REED Charitable Foundation. “We Build This City/Landscapes” Art Program allowed students to visualize, express, and experience a deeper understanding of themselves, the community they live in, and the world through art. Students received awards for their fine achievements during a reception held at the Santa Ana Arts Collective on Friday, July 15, followed by a weekend of exhibit viewing open to the public. The OCCTAC Preparatory Arts Academy provides unique visual arts techniques and learning opportunities that best serve their ability to communicate in a language of their own. Through this program, the art students master the fundamentals of creating mixed medium landscapes of their city and apply four foundational artistic processes. Those four processes consist of the artist imagining and refining the piece of work before completion, presenting the work, reflecting on the completed work, and connecting the experience to other contexts of meaning or knowledge. With this learning process, the students hone their skills of problem-solving, exhibiting their work, and thinking critically."The importance of ‘We Build This City’ was to allow our students an opportunity to reconnect and reflect on the beauty of their own community. To embrace their culture and surroundings and to highlight facets of the city that awaken pride in their own community,” said Mark Dimalanta, Visual Arts Program Coordinator at OCCTAC. We thank The REED Charitable Foundation for their financial support and the hospitality of the Santa Ana Arts Collective. OCCTAC showcased a no-cost, public in-person perspective of the students’ introspective art. This platform sparks hope and encourages the youth to pursue their aspirations.

Fall Registration for our Prep Arts Academy begins August 1st! For more information on the Preparatory Arts Academy at OCCTAC, visit


OCCTAC and SAUSD/ELOP Take a Major Stride

Forward in 21St-Century Education

Pictured: Samples of student artwork from OCCTAC's Jean-Michel Basquiat curriculum. Photo and story courtesy of Mark Dimalanta.

With the emergence from the pandemic, new funding to rebuild our education infrastructure prompted the possibility of new educational structures. The Extended Learning Department of SAUSD prompted OCCTAC to modify our structure and implement the dynamic Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP) as a test pilot for future use in the upcoming school years. We met the challenge and changed our programming structure to accommodate the new pilot program. The results exceeded our expectations, and not only did we successfully complete the pilot, but also outperformed prior assessment periods with the most consistent test performance, art production, and roster attendance. Overall results showed that 90% of the students assessed during Rotation 3 demonstrated an increase in proficiency and understanding of the basic elements and principles of Art and Vocabulary enrichment, as observed in our Pre and Post-tests conducted at 14 participating schools. Special thanks to the Santa Ana Unified School District Extended Learning Opportunity Team for allowing us to participate and succeed in the future of After School Education.

For more information about OCCTAC’s recent performance at SAUSD, please read the attached report:




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?





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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