Home » Guitars Not Guns Celebrates its First Graduating Class in Three Years

Guitars Not Guns Celebrates its First Graduating Class in Three Years

Press Release

by CC News
Guitars Not Guns

The Contra Costa County chapter of national organization Guitars Not Guns graduated their newest class of students on Wednesday, March 8 at the Family Justice Center’s East County location in Antioch.

Guitars Not Guns Contra Costa County Chapter Director Barbara Gorin presented certificates to 8 students, and students were rewarded for their work by being allowed to keep the guitars that they have been learning on. The students performed Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” one of the songs they learned this winter.

Guitars Not Guns has been teaching guitar to foster children and at-risk youth in a classroom setting with qualified teachers as an alternative to violence for 23 years. Nearly 5,000 students across 12 states have been served.

The graduation ceremony was the first since Covid-19 lockdowns halted classes in March 2020.

Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis (District 3), a longtime supporter of the nonprofit, attended the graduation and spoke.

“Some of you will continue to play,” Burgis remarked at the ceremony. “Some of you may not. But this will always be with you.”

Burgis’ late husband Richard Clayton was a volunteer teacher and supporter.

“He was particularly funny, and he loved playing,” Burgis told the students. “And he would have been really proud of what you’ve accomplished.”

Director Barbara Gorin first became involved with the Contra Costa County Chapter in 2006, and Guitars Not Guns has taught hundreds of at-risk Contra Costa youth over the years.

The Family Justice Center has been serving Contra Costa County since 2011 with a mission to provide safety, healing and community. The East County center opened in 2019, and is located at 3501 Lone Tree Way, Suite 4, in Antioch.

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