The Fillmore Arts program in Georgetown is a valuable resource available to Stoddert Elementary students as well as students from four other nearby DC public elementary schools. The program is funded from each of the five school's budget as well as from DC Public Schools. DCPS has decided to cut funding for this program, leaving most of the five schools, including Glover Park's Stoddert Elementary, unable to fund the program from their budgets. If this situation is not worked out fairly quickly, Stoddert and other schools will be forced to attempt to create and fund their own arts program on site at their respective schools - a plan which is not feasible at Stoddert and most others due to budget and space issues.
Please read the petition here and consider signing it online to help Stoddert students. The petition states: "If the cuts are allowed to stand, our students will lose sculpture, computer animation, digital arts, pottery, theater, dance, strings, band, and others. The end of Fillmore would mean that our students would no longer have the dedicated classrooms, studio space, instruments, tools, and supplies that they can only enjoy at Fillmore."
As a parent of two Stoddert students, I know first-hand that this would be a big loss for students at these five schools and quite impractical, inefficient and virtually impossible to re-create in over-crowded schools with budget and staffing limitations.
Here is a quote from Lauren Guaraldo, a teacher at Stoddert:
"Fillmore provides a comprehensive Arts curriculum to 1600 students a week! These children are give the opportunity to explore the Arts in ways that our 5 elementary school cannot do individually. They are exposed to visual art, digital art, dance, music, theater, band, etc. no one school can provide all that. Interestingly enough, DCPS posted their budget priorities on Feb. 16th which states how proud they are of their continued dedication to the Arts in elementary schools. But yet, 4 days prior they informed 5 elementary schools they would be losing their innovative arts program. These kiddos look forward to the Arts program each week, and are proud to show off their new learned skills and apply them in their school work. I hope we can work together to fund this amazing program. The kids deserve it."
Here is a letter from Stoddert's Principal Bryant
The Friends of Fillmore proposes 10 easy things that you can to do to restore Fillmore’s funding for next year:
Tell Chancellor Kaya Henderson to fund Fillmore. firstname.lastname@example.org; @HendersonKaya.
Tell the DCPS Chief of Schools, John Davis, that you don’t want to lose Fillmore. email@example.com; @johndavisdc.
Tell Nathaniel Beers, DCPS Chief Operating Officer, to work with the budget to keep Fillmore open. firstname.lastname@example.org; @nbbeers.
Email and tweet Ward 1 City Councilwoman Brianne Nadeau and tell her that DCPS is threatening arts education in her ward. email@example.com; @BrianneKNadeau.
Email and tweet Ward 2 City Councilman Jack Evans, DC city councilman and tell him that DCPS is threatening arts education in his firstname.lastname@example.org; @jackevansward2.
Email and tweet Ward 3 City Councilwoman Mary Cheh and tell her that DCPS is threatening arts education in her ward. email@example.com;@marycheh.
Tell your school’s teachers and principal you want DCPS to continue to fund Fillmore.
Post on social media that DCPS is underfunding arts education for its students, including @friendsoffillmore, #FundFillmore.
Connect with the Washington media and tell them that saving effective and affordable arts education is an important story. Some twitter feeds include: @nbcwashington; @fox5newsdc; @abc7news; @wusa9; @wamu885news.
You can also come to The Friends of Fillmore meeting at the Georgetown Library this Tuesday night, February 23 from 7-8, in the Lower Level Meeting Room. Please join us.