Letter: Art shouldn’t be up for debate

To the Editor:

The Board of Education is proposing a reduction of 1.2 art teachers across all elementary schools for next year’s budget, meaning that no elementary school will have a full-time art teacher. While this is a very difficult budget year, and I am sure this was not proposed lightly, this would create lasting repercussions for our children.

Art is not an “extra” that can be cut without consequence. It is a discipline that nourishes creativity, confidence, technical exploration and the satisfaction of working with your hands. Our daughter is in second grade at Farmingville, where students are encouraged to have the courage to fail. What better way to practice that than through art? Art helps young students to work outside their comfort zone, to express feelings and emotions. And to simply have fun.

The reality is that almost every elementary student will suffer from art programs being reduced. They don’t get enough art as it is. By cutting any amount of art, we are telling future architects, graphic designers, fashion designers, animators, and illustrators that their passion is not as worthy as other pursuits.

We are also denying future computer programmers, scientists and teachers the chance to learn about themselves through art, and to enhance their perception and understanding of the world around them.

I hope the Board of Ed will find a way to save money that does not impact one of the most important aspects of our children’s education.

Caroline Keenan

Ridgefield, Feb. 13