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RE: Elementary Art Budget

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From: Sears, Ellen (ESears_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Oct 09 2002 - 06:09:52 PDT


I have been thinking about this for a couple of years... maybe because I
have been in the same place for so long (22 years) - I don't know... maybe
it's my age! and I am trying to become a minimalist.... Maybe because I am
absolutely suffocating from 'stuff' - both in my room and at home -

First of all - my first job was with 1200 students and $300 - even that
long ago - it wasn't much for 4 schools, but $300 more than the year before
I came....

Then I went to a school with 300 students and $1200... WOW!

Now:
Our kids aren't lacking for anything - except parental involvement and a
caring soul on occasion - and each year they are charged a hefty supply fee
by our public (but independent) school - and supply lists can run up to $75
- each grade purchases something to send to the art department for a
communal collection (watercolors, markers etc...) - and they have an art box
when they come to class -

And then I get $10 per child - and then can request more funds for
'special' projects - $500 for loupes for several classes - $300 for PVC pipe
and mirrors for kaleidoscopes - $100 for film developing - at this point and
time - pretty nice -

but I've been focusing more on folk art, materials at hand, recycled
materials.... junk sculptures - and tempted to not order a new thing until
we have completely scavenged every material, piece of wood, broken toy part,
paper scrap, fabric etc..... until the room has been stripped - just to
show the ingenuity of the students - the purest form of creativity -
tinkering/building/constructing with what you have - I mean these kids have
everything - but what can they make with materials at hand that is both
functional and aesthetically pleasing? Calder with his rolls of wire,
Goldworthy with sticks and stones.... I don't know - maybe the old pioneer
spirit!!!

I love my brushes, nice paper, paint, prints, artifacts, books, books,
books... and would hate to give them up... and I am not on a cart (but once
was) -

But when my principal visits with some 'extra cash' and asks if there is
anything I want - it is always what he can't give me - more space (or a sink
that is appropriate for kids - I am in the old kitchen) and more time -

But my reserve is short lived! I am still getting orders in -

Ellen

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