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I have never considered  myself to be an artsy person.  But I want to challenge that feeling.

When I look back onto my childhood, some of the fondest memories I have in school are in the art room.  Many macaroni men, clay “something or others” and construction paper turkeys have been created by none other than me.  My grade eight graduation featured silhouettes of each of our heads displayed proudly on the wall around the gymnasium, all of us facing the next step in our lives.

How many stories were told with pictures to enhance the plot?  Nearly every one in the early years.  And many drawn by the story tellers themselves, myself included.

I was also involved in countless plays, choirs and assemblies.  There was a particular story that for some reason I didn’t understand until we were fortunate enough to create a play based on it.  Without that opportunity, I would surely have missed out on what that author was trying to get across.

And the best thing we did?  Sit in the gymnasium every morning on the week leading up to Christmas and sing songs together.  I think this experience has created in me my love for choral music, especially around the holidays.

It is safe to say that in my elementary years the arts played a significant role in building my confidence and encouraged me not only to replicate that which was shown to me but to branch out on my own and try things that were different and even to put myself in very uncomfortable situations in a safe and nurturing environment.

As budgets are cut to public education it is the arts that are in danger.  Of course math, science and languages are equally important but I think our instruction should be balanced with arts and physical education.

Enter donorschoose a website designed to get project materials directly into teacher’s hands.  It’s simple.  Supplies that teachers cannot get through their school board due to lack of funds, can be acquired through donation.  As a donator, you choose how little or how much you want to give to any particular project and once the fund goal has been reached, the materials ship to the teacher who will then send photos and a letter to every person who contributed, no matter the dollar amount.

Donorschose does not limit its resources to just art; teachers can request supplies from pencils to microscopes.  I think this is a brilliant way to give children the invaluable gift of a better classroom.

Perhaps my own artistic creativity is not as active as it once was but I can safely say that it is there and I owe a debt of gratitude to the many teachers who helped my fledgling talent.

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