School districts throughout the country are experiencing trickle down budget cuts to art programs. Most feel so much pressure that art classes are cut completely leaving superintendents, principals, and especially teachers with a heavy responsibility. Knowing how important it is to incorporate art into any learning environment, they have been forced to act.
Instead of giving up and leaving arts behind, some teachers, much like the ones from the town of Griggsville-Perry, Illinois, are making progress regardless of the art education that was lost. Because the schools no longer have the budget to include blocked out time for art instruction, these teachers are integrating art within their K-12 classrooms. By incorporating art projects that parallel their curriculum, they allow their students to foster their love for art as well as furthering their entire learning environment. One too many studies have shown that students perform better in all areas of their studies when creativity is explored and expressed in school and these teachers are committed to that concept.
With the mindset that art is a tool to be utilized in already scheduled programs, teachers allow their students to ability to experience projects that might never have been offered them.
When public money runs out, these individuals must rely on other options. For example, the Tracy Family Foundation and Melody Jochem, who work together to aid struggling classes with art projects. While the foundation grant covers the cost of the program, Jochem travels to individual classes, creating art projects that coincide with their current study material. A program that has expanded over the past fourteen years into a full fledged collaboration between the schools and the foundation.
While everyone agrees that art education is a vital part of a child's education, most teachers have to continually prove its importance and worth. While students are receiving the benefit of these resilient individuals, there are many areas around the country who are unable to continue this crucial priority and the students are the ones who are suffering.