Arts educator asks for donations to mitigate budget cuts

Arts educator asks for donations to mitigate budget cuts
Micah Hall, third grade, gets some help from his big sister, Natalie, holding his artwork.

Central Riverside Elementary School held its 5th annual student art exhibit and fundraiser, and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time. Due to budget cuts to the arts programs, Duval County Public School District funding for art supplies is not expected to continue next year.

“I hope we do well, as we will certainly need the dollars if DCPS doesn’t give us a supply budget next year,” said Terry Woodlief, visual arts educator and recent winner of the annual Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child Reach award. “Please consider making a donation of art supplies so we can offer our students the same quality materials they deserve.”

The importance of an art education is not lost on parents of the students.

“Wednesdays are a good night in our home because we know Thursday is art day,” said DeLisa Turner, a Murray Hill resident, whose son, Terrence Watkins, is in kindergarten.

“This school is the best-kept secret in Jacksonville,” said Allison Hall, whose son, Micah, is a third-grade student and whose daughter, Natalie, graduated from Central Riverside Elementary School last year.

Although a recent art drive is over, supplies can be dropped off at the school, 2555 Gilmore St., any time during summer hours. Woodlief is requesting graphite and colored pencils, oil pastels, crayons, Elmer’s Glue and glue sticks, watercolor paint sets, paintbrushes, white unlined paper, poster board, construction paper and rulers.

“We teach creativity, and all other learning hinges on children learning about observation, choices, manipulation of parts, and putting things together to make new things. This is how we’ve been educating the whole child, but now that will be cut in half,” said Woodlief.

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