Art Programs of Illinois Valley Elementary Schools

Honors Project Students

A group of us from the Honors Project 1003 class were interested to see if any financial budgetary cuts have affected the art programs in the surrounding Illinois Valley elementary schools and if so, how the public can help. Information was collected through interviews in Peru, Tonica, Depue, Grand Ridge, Streator, Ottawa, and LaSalle elementary schools.

None of the individuals interviewed were against fostering the fine arts. When looking at public schools, if there were financial cuts or less time available for the programs, it was generally because something crucial to the learning environment of the school had to be taken care of, such as cutting time for music classes in the elementary schools in Ottawa because the school needs to put time into meeting a reading level the state requires.

Most faculty members have found ways to raise additional money for these programs, such as Northwest Elementary School in LaSalle, using booster programs and running a Fannie May candy sale that raised close to $1600 for their music department. Ms. Debra Martin, the Assistant Superintendent of Streator elementary school, stated they use the Streator Grade School Band -Aids to pay for their band. Ms. Kathy Ballard from Depue Unit Schools, the art teacher and the head of the art program, hosts bake sales to raise funds for the school’s art program.

The interviews included comments about suggestions to helping the programs, and Ms. Bosnich, the principle of Washington school in Peru, stated that volunteering is very helpful to programs as well as contacting local representatives to voice what the needs of programs to function. Mr. Suarez, from Tonica grade school, stated that schools should move away from a one-time standardized test and move toward more a portfolio system to show progress.

If interested in hearing more information about the information, keep an eye out for the location of Honorspalooza on December 4th from 12-130.