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OCCTAC News - June 2020

OCCTAC's Engage 360 After School Arts Program Transitioned to Online Format this Spring

2020 has proven to be an unprecedented year of adversity, but our OCCTAC SAUSD-Engage 360 Teachers rose to the occasion and adapted where it mattered most, with the students!

The year started with budget cuts and program modifications, which forced staff reductions and limits to enrichment time for the children. Then on March 13, 2020 -The Covid-19 pandemic caused the abrupt closure of our school district. Our OCCTAC teachers rapidly began the transition for distance learning and overhauled our entire program to offer 6 daily “Live Zoom” sessions and a bounty of pre-recorded art instruction that refreshed weekly.  We realized that each child engaged at varying levels under the heightened pressures and anxieties brought about while “Sheltering in Place.”

Our program offered the versatility to meet the child at their level within the comfort of their home. We invited them to interact virtually with their favorite teacher over the Zoom platform or take their time to view our specialized instruction at their pace and during times that suited their family’s schedule. Our virtual programming restored the structural “norm” that our children rely on and strengthened their social/emotional well-being. Despite all of these challenges, the Assessment Performance of our SAUSD students exceeded all years prior, with an unprecedented 95% passing rate! We look forward to the coming 2020-2021 academic year and together with Engage 360 will continue to evolve and meet any challenge, always for the sake of our children.

(File Photo, February 21, 2020) L-R: Randy Ruiz, Kendra Salgado, Clemente Salgado, Blanca Ibarra, Dayana Gonzalez, Kristina Baker, Yenny Bernal, & Dianna Najar (seated)


Wraparound Tutoring Program Success Story

Wraparound is a family-centered program and utilizes individualized interventions to build on the strengths of the family. The wraparound process is a way to improve the lives of youth and their families who have complex needs. OCCTAC is one of the providers for the County of Orange, Wraparound Network Program. Working in conjunction with Social Services, Probation Offices and Health Care Agencies, OCCTAC provides in-home tutoring to at-risk youth and their families.  This spring and summer brought unique challenges to the Wraparound Tutoring program, primarily how to tutor students in a virtual setting during the time of COVID-19. Here is what co-coordinator Victor Alvarez said about the success of the program despite those challenges: “When both Bryan and I started coordinating we were only serving about 10 families at the beginning of the year. We have expanded the Wrap program and we are now serving over 30 families. Our tutor, Albert Davis, even managed to get one of his students to increase their grade by 2 letter grades.”  Wraparound supportive services include after-school Arts and Tutoring programs.  Tutoring services provide one-to-one instruction and academic coaching in one or more academic subjects. Tutors assist students with difficulties relating to subject matter and teach students learning strategies to help them be better prepared for school.




Free Virtual Workshops for

Parents and Teens/Youth

Through OCCTAC’s commitment to mental wellness and our partnership with OC MECCA, we are offering a series of educational workshops via Zoom to our community about Substance Use Disorder and the available services and resources in our community. The workshops will include focused information on peer pressure, addiction and drug abuse, the effects of drugs on the teen brain, current drug trends, and how to get help for yourself or a friend. Zoom is a virtual conference app that is free to download and use.


Memories of Ms. Cynthia


You Can Help OCCTAC Today!

The new federal CARES Act allows for charitable gift tax deductions in 2020, even if you are unable to itemize your deductions, as an added incentive to give.

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:

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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