Letter: Fine arts department touches every student



To the editor,

How many Region 16 children pass through the fine arts department before graduating from Woodland? The answer is all of them. Each student must take at least one class in the fine arts department in order to graduate, and hopefully, many of them choose to take more than that. This department includes, music (vocal and instrumental), visual arts (photography, graphic design, drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture), and theater.

Fortunately the fine arts department has a strong, unified staff dedicated to improving the creative side of each and every student. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there is an equity gap nationwide between low-poverty and high-poverty school districts.  We are fortunate that our area’s residents mostly fall somewhere in the middle.  However, our high school, the last stop before sending our children out into the world, continually has to struggle with a multitude of yearly budget cuts, and the fine arts department tends to be one of the first to take a hit. The wonderful teachers carry on, however, consistently doing their best to continue your children’s growth.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan believes, “A well-rounded education is simply too vital to our students’ success to let the teaching of the arts and humanities erode.” He also says, “…all students — 100 percent — should have access to arts instruction. All children should have arts-rich schools.”

These quotes were taken from published remarks he made while giving the results of the report on “Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools” in April of 2012. He went on to say, “The study of the arts can significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college.”

Please do your part to support the continuation of the unique advantages we have in our fine arts department. The events throughout the year are posted in the Citizen’s News.  We invite you to come out and experience first-hand the dedication of both teachers and students at our plays, band and vocal concerts and visual arts showings. You can also watch for information about our fundraising efforts in the papers and by e-mail and participate in those. All of the money we raise goes directly back to the department in order to supplement the budget and provide scholarships. Also, please support our sponsors: Beacon Hose Company No. 1, Maria’s Tailoring, Betkoski Bros., Lions/Lionesses Clubs of Beacon Falls, A Space Center Self Storage, Triple Stitch, Beacon Valley Carpentry, Prospect Printing, Smedes Realty, JHD Corporation and Oliver’s Market. Thank you for your support.

Patti Lavernoich

President, Woodland Fine Arts Booster Club