Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bake sale to buy music, anyone?

"It'll be a great day when education gets
all the money it wants and the Air Force has to
hold a bake sale to buy bombers."
~Author unknown

Previously, our wonderful local elementary school had a phenomenal music program with a talented, committed teacher. Chris began playing in the band in fourth grade, and throughout his time at the school, he performed in a variety of band and choir concerts. The first-graders traditionally sang at the mall...fortunately Kieran got to participate in that last year.

Then came the devastating school budget cuts. No more music this year, and only a part-time PE teacher (because it's mandated by the state). The computer teacher/librarian only got to keep her job because of funds raised by the school foundation last year.

I'm on the foundation campaign committee this year, and we had a kick-off event on Friday evening. I desperately love our school community. So many people (especially the amazing staff) are dedicated to doing all they can to ensuring our kids have a well-rounded education, not just focused on hardcore academics. We are attempting to raise a very large sum of money this year ($84,000!), which will be extremely difficult because we are not a rich--or large--community. Many of our families have at least one stay-at-home parent (or part-time stay-at-home parent). Others are in lower income brackets. A few are disengaged or apathetic--or do not believe they should pay anything extra. We are aiming high but know that it's unlikely we will accomplish our goal.

May I just say that raising money to provide music and computer/library enrichment programs just plain SUCKS? I feel sorry for those first-graders who didn't get to sing at the mall this year, or the fourth-graders who don't get to start playing an instrument. How about the fifth-graders who learned how to play an instrument last year, but this year cannot continue in band? Or the kids who love to sing but have no way to do it?

Something is seriously broken in this country when we cannot provide our children with these very basic opportunities for learning and self-enhancement. It makes me very upset.


  1. A sad aspect to your initial quote is that the AF is saying, "we don't need X" and congress is saying, too bad, you're going to get it anyway.

    I absolutely agree about the tragedy of a country that will go in debt to kill people in far away lands, but won't borrow a dime to help people live well at home. I guess I could rant too.

    Lisa Bickford

  2. Yes, I agree Lisa...thanks for your comment.