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Clarkes-Highland News April 9


Music and art going strong at Clarkes Elementary

The Clarkes Music and Arts Program is making exciting headway at Clarkes Elementary.

As many recall, the music program was cut out of the curriculum a little more than two years ago. For Clarkes Elementary, this was devastating news. But, as president of the Music and Arts Program, Desiree Barrett said, “A group of us decided we would not let this die.”

For almost three years now, this group has been raising money and providing music and art experiences for the students at Clarkes. In February 2012, they earned their non-profit status.

The biggest fundraising event for the committee is the upcoming auction and spaghetti dinner on April 12 at 5 p.m. The event includes a spaghetti dinner provided by the Clarkes Grange, items for auction, raffles, and games. Many of the auction items are donated from community members and businesses (such as a Coleman Ranch beef basket), but other items consist of handmade art by Clarkes students. Other ways they raise money is by encouraging the community to give them their returnable cans, connecting with the Fred Meyer rewards program, and correlating with local businesses looking to donate. Recently, Beavercreek Cooperative Telephone named the Clarkes Music and Arts Program as one of their sponsored charities.

With the money they have raised so far, they have been able to provide Clarkes students with experiences and education they would have otherwise not likely received. For instance, last year, they were able to hire an Artist in Residence as part of an eight-week program during the holiday season. They have also sponsored the travelling children’s theater program, Missoula Children’s Theater, to provide a week-long after-school program. This March, they were able to reinstate a music teacher for the remainder of the school year.

In addition to providing an outlet for artistic expression and expansion, the committee also uses the money they raise to go toward field trips, art supplies, instruments, and outdated equipment. Upcoming activities include Mother’s Day art projects, plans for a mural, and purchasing a new sound system and microphones.