2016-04-14 / Letters

Thanks to organization, arts teachers have a leg up

To the editor:

When the threat of cuts looms every budget cycle, schools and educational districts are forced to find ways to cut back. Usually one of the first areas to feel the pinch is fine arts.

We are fortunate to live in a tri-city community that values the benefits from having fine arts available for our children. Even with our great fine arts programs, the school budgets are tight and do not allow room for extra items such as replacing a stage curtain or broken instrument; or pay for field trips or guest presentations from local musicians or artists.

Rep. Justin Chenette, who is also president of the Saco Bay Center for Civic Engagement, brought interested parties together over the course of a year to develop the Arts Action Fund, a mini grant to assist fine arts teachers throughout Saco, Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach.

Justin is someone who grew up here and benefited from the arts programs and wants to give back. Having been a part of organizing The Kidz Winter Jamboree Benefit Concert, which was a fundraiser for the Arts Action Fund, I’ve seen firsthand Justin’s energy and passion for our community. This is a prime example of the type of leadership we need to continue and expand. I’m thankful to be a part of an organization that steps up to the plate when a need like this arises.

We are all fortunate to live in the Saco Bay area; a community that sees the value in investing in our children. We understand the importance of a quality, well-rounded education for our youth so they are well prepared for the challenges of the world around us. Our children are our future community leaders and we all have a vested interest in making sure they have a strong foundation.

Grant applications will be sent out to arts educators by the end of the month and available on our website www.sacobaycenter.org.

Christina Query Shea, board member Saco Bay Center for Civic Engagement Saco

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