Posted: Monday, December 17, 2001

Fine art curriculum made possible by dedication of staff, community

Had you passed by our school anytime during the past few weeks, you would have seen the sign out front that reads WE SUPPORT THE ARTS.

Educational Research has proven that there is a direct link between student achievement and participation in fine arts classes. Test scores on the SATs are significantly higher for students who have had even as few as one fine arts class during their secondary school experience. Fine arts cultivate the mind, enhancing reasoning as well as creativity.

I am very proud of the work and dedication of the staff at Sterling Elementary School in bringing art into the lives of their students. Through their professional dedication and their understanding of the power that fine arts play in learning and development, they are successfully integrating art throughout the school curriculum..

A Fullbright fellowship awarded to Sterling teacher Tracy Wimmer allowed her to travel to Japan to study Japanese art and literature, whereupon returning she is developing a program celebrating this partnership with our Pacific rim neighbor through the medium of fine arts.

The fantastic Mrs. Celia Anderson, KPBSD art specialist, also deserves kudos for her work with our children. Nowhere can this be more readily seen than in the hallways and lobby of our school.

Student artwork now adorns the interior of the building in a professional fashion. The Sterling PTA, through their generosity, purchased over $1,400 in matting and framing to display student art work throughout the school. This project would not have been successful without the generous help of Marty Hapeman, owner of the Art Works of Soldotna.

A magnanimous donation of $1,500 was given to our school by Peak Oilfield Services to purchase art supplies for our children, and Unocal awarded another $500 to bring performance artists into our school as part of our ongoing integration of art into the curriculum. Kudos again must go out to Sterling Elementary music teacher Sue Biggs for her leadership role in bringing nationally recognized musicians and poets into the school to act as teachers and role models inspiring children to pursue the many intrinsic rewards that come from embracing arts in their personal lives.

My "hat's off" to all the fine people of the Sterling Elementary School community who have brought the joy of learning about the fine arts into the lives of our children.

Mr. Paul C. Kubena, principal, Sterling Elementary

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