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Re: Elementary Art Budget

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From: linda (lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 05:12:28 PDT


My hat is off to you who make 3.00 per child work for you. One and two dollars per child is woeful. I teach in a private school. I know I'm lucky to be in the situation I am in, and I wish that more districts could afford the same budget for something I think is not too much when you consider what all it buys! I've been at my school for 23 years and still love it. My school writes the arts into part of their mission statement. I have parent volunteers for anything I need them for. I think that is one reason why the arts are so supported at my school...parents are IN the art/music/theater programs as volunteers. They work in the theater making costumes, chaperoning backstage, providing food for cast parties, etc. IN music, they help with our chapel program, assist with costuming for performances. In art, they help out in the classroom with supervising cutting cardboard in papier mache chairs for 5th grade, they help me teach the 3rd graders to sew like pros! THey go on field trips as drivers, they
work in the art a la carte program, and they help hang artwork. THey see it for themselves, and they spread the word that we are offering their child something exceptional and wonderful. The art budget in my school is 10.00 per child. I can't imagine anyone thinking that is TOO MUCH for a student to pay for a quality program. No one complains about art in my school. In fact, two years ago we opened a new 53000 sq.ft. Fine Arts Bldg. It has two dance studios with real dance flooring and mirrors/bars, a procinium stage, a black box theater, practice rooms, two rehearsal halls, and ONE art room. THe middle school teacher holds his art classes in the new building. High school has a large space now that they used to have to share with middle school. Lower School (me) has two art rooms with pretty good storage and space. We have a parent docent program in my school that has 60 parents volunteering this year to take art into the history/spanish and english classrooms as enrichment/support/writing sparkers
. THe other lower school art teacher and I share responsibility for advising the AALC program. Our tech people teach the parents power point workshops to enable them to use PP to create programs for Art a la Carte. We are able to do some pretty cool things with the budget we have. I can do copper etching with my MS classes. I let my 3rd graders sew stuffed animals and I teach embroidery to my 3rd graders. We paint murals and make pretty large papier mache creations annually in 5th. I don't use all of my budget each year, and still I receive the same amount annually. Some years we come pretty close, other years we have a couple thousand left over and share it with music or another discipline who needs more that year. Last year I was able to buy a Projector for power point with left over funds. Paper is SO expensive. Paint is SO expensive. Glazes are SO expensive. I think everyone should receive at least 5.00 per child!!! Do they think we're magicians, or that we perform "loaves and fishes" shows i
n the art rooms? Actually, even on my budget, I do perform some loaves and fishes acts on a fairly regular basis. I do recycle a lot of things, and I use recycled cardboard a lot. I use cardboard boxes cut up for my papier mache chair project. Takes me hours and hours to cut up all that cardboard. I teach our kids to respect materials and not be wasteful, learn to recycle, and so on. So that is part of my program. But it is wonderful to know I can afford the paint I need to paint anything we make. I would definitely be advocating for more funds if I received a few bucks per kid. Even ERASERS are expensive! I'm just so glad that I don't have to prove to my school what art can do for our students. The arts are also part of the curriculum in the classroom. It's wonderful when people "get it." I wish you all luck in your efforts to convince the powers that be that you need more $$.

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