As our economy took a nose dive years ago, on what felt like the exact day I graduated with my Masters in Art Education, schools and teachers have had to bear the greatest burden. More than any other public service the education system nationwide has taken the biggest hit. Not just in Federal and State funding, but Grants which have now dried up as corporations no longer contribute as they once did. Grants were the back bone of extra curricular activities that often focus on a students intellectual abilities fostering concepts that enhance students strengths and develop analytical thinking. Analytical thinking which ironically businesses say employees now lack.
I have a true passion for art education as I was a tactile kinestetic learner as a child. If my hands were busy, I was thinking. If I could touch an idea I understood it. If I was exploring with my sticky peanut butter and jelly digits I was figuring it out on my own and proud of myself when I did. Some teachers recognized this in me, teachers like Ms. Bartok. She knew my blank stares in class weren’t because I didn’t care about learning my ABC’s, but because I didn’t absorb information in the traditional way. Letters just didn’t make sense to me, they’re quite a foreign concept to a 5 year old. To me b,p,d,q was just the same shape spinning around. But luckily one day my older sister showed me a trick. “This is what your name looks like.” as she slowly moved her fingers into knotted shapes as she referenced her sign language book. “M, A, T, T” she said as she helped me make the signs with my hands. I got it! I made the letters with my hands and my brain made the connection.
Ms. Milliam, the principal of John Paulding Elementary School was wise enough to recognize and initiate a Sign Language program in her Kindergarten. She is a Principal who truly understands the benefits of enhancing the classroom experience. Unfortunately, the program was funded by Grant’s which have all but run dry and is now in jeopardy of being canceled. Yet the school and community won’t let that happen. They are fighting for their kids and have taken the responsibility into their own hands. To save the program the school and parents have begun a Literacy Fundraiser. The goal is to raise $8,000 and the community is 100% dedicated to helping out. On April 21, there will be a Fundraiser at The Double Tree in Tarrytown, and the school and local businesses are rallying to help. But, it’s hard out there for everyone so some local businesses had to think creatively to help. Qponista.com, a Daily Deals website based here in Westchester, is working with local business to promote deals to benefit the Sign Language program and donating 40% of their commissions on those deals to the fundraiser. Finding creative ways to contribute is great for the local businesses and the schools. Let’s support John Paulding Elementary and show the world that we can take care of our own and be passionate about a cause that helps our kids.
How can you help?
Attend the Fundraiser on April 21st at The Double Tree in Tarrytown between 12-4pm.
Also, check out these Deals on Qponista.com from local businesses. Purchases those deals and %40 of the commision goes to the Fund.
Thanks for showing your support!