Academy starts new year Aug. 23

The Charleston Academy of Music will kick off its eighth year on Aug. 23.

The academy is starting a special after-school orchestra program at Meeting Street Academy geared to inspire children to learn and enjoy playing an instrument.

The school offers music instruction for all ages and skill levels in piano, violin (including Suzuki classes for age 4-5), viola, cello, voice and classical guitar.

The Honors Program provides talented students who demonstrate financial needs to audition and study with international professionals.

The academy also welcomes new faculty members Javier Orman (violin) and Janai Brugger (voice). Orman will be directing orchestra program as well.

CAM is accepting registrations for fall 2009 via www.charlestonmusic.org, by calling the office at 805-7794 or e-mailing CAM746@yahoo.com.

First Day Festival planned Aug. 16

To celebrate the first day of school, the Mayor's Office for Children, Youth and Families will hold the seventh annual First Day Festival on Aug. 16 at Liberty Square at the S.C. Aquarium and Charleston Maritime Center. The festival, 1-4 p.m., will focus on providing school supplies for students and will feature exhibits, food vendors, mascots and entertainers.

The school supply drive for the festival is ongoing until Aug. 7. Lowcountry Food Bank will accept donations of nonperishable food items at the event. Festival organizers are seeking volunteers to help with the event.

Call 965-4190 or visit www.charlestoncity.info/mocyf.

FunSaver offers fundraising help

Local schools, nonprofits, sports teams, day cares and church groups can raise money this fall again with the Lowcountry FunSaver.

For the second year, WEZL and Channel 5-WCSC have partnered to offer an extra dollar for every book sold.

Lowcountry FunSaver is a discount coupon book, filled with coupons to restaurants, attractions and fun stuff.

There are individual and group incentives for selling the book, and more is available at www.lowcountryfunsaver.com. Call Buzzy Green at 425-2106.