Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I have a responsibility to inform you of other great things happening in Arkansas. A+ Schools is one. A+ stands for arts, not the grade. But as in the Wisdom of the Hands program at Clear Spring, A+ schools recognize that academic excellence is fostered by involvement in the arts. To become an A+ School, the entire staff from janitorial, through secretarial, administrative and teaching go through a summer training program to build an understanding of the role of the arts in education. Getting all the school personnel on the same page is an extremely important consideration in making the arts a serious part of the school culture. At the present time, A+ programs exist in North Carolina, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and the link above will help you get connected.The A+ Schools program presents an opportunity for public schools to make a shift toward better utilization of the arts in education.

Another important thing that happened here in the last couple years, was that Arkansas Governor Huckabee, as chairman of the Education Commission of the States Governor's Task Force made support of the arts in schools a statewide mandate, and started a national initiative for the arts. It's no revolution, but it did force some school districts in Arkansas to hire new art teachers. For a Republican governor to step out in support of the arts shows that things can change and people can break barriers and boundaries when their hands call them to that change. Governor Huckabee plays the guitar, and attributes his success in life to his high school success in playing a musical instrument. It will be interesting to see whether his position in favor of the arts will continue as a Presidential candidate.

In the meantime, the photo above is from last week of Ike Doss finishing his beautiful curly maple bowl, and the one at left, also from last week is of 3rd and 4th grade students with their teacher Michelle and their finished boxes.


  1. Anonymous5:36 AM

    What a remarkable thing that your Republican governor has that level of appreciation for the role of the arts in education! That's a rare thing. If you could just loan him to us in NY State for a while so he could help train our own governor...

  2. We now have a democrat in the office of governor, and my fingers are crossed that he also played guitar in high school.