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Silent auction helping to bring art to kids

For the second consecutive year Cecil Sly Elementary children, families and staff are coordinating a silent auction featuring festive holiday gifts as a way support the Artists in Education program at their school.
   Artists in Education is a fine arts enrichment program which brings Oregon visual and performing artists to Prineville. Last year the silent auction brought in about $5,000, enough to pay for the enrichment program.
   Teacher Marge Pierce explained that children at each grade level were able to choose from a list of artists specializing in ceramics, dance, drawing, mime or various artistic pursuits. The chosen artists then were invited to Cecil Sly where they spent time with children in the classrooms teaching their particular art specialty. Schools generally tap into the Artist in Education program as a supplement to their arts curriculum, and to give students the opportunity to create artwork on a one-on-one basis with a professional artist.
   Principal Ruth Wick indicated that according to the district curriculum, knowing and practicing a variety of arts disciplines is fundamental to the healthy development of the minds and spirits of children.
   Through a variety of learning experiences including the Artist in Education program students are prepared for lifelong appreciation of and meaningful interaction with the fine arts.
   To help pay for the Artists in Education program, about 25 different items or collection of items will be offered for bid during the Silent Auction fundraiser on Thursday, Dec. 13 starting at 6 p.m.
   Each classroom picked individual themes to build a gift around. Themes include scrapbooking, tea, dolls, music, western, patriotic, and beauty and bath. In addition, area businesses and organizations donated valuable auction items including gift certificates and specialty baskets. The auction will take place in the school's gym.
    "The community is invited," Pierce added. "Everyone is welcome to come and bid on the baskets, and they are encouraged to tour the school and see the art our children have created so far this year."