Throughout my career as a teacher, school administrator, college instructor, and superintendent I have been told that arts education in schools is a luxury. I have watched arts programming reduced to make more time for standardized testing, as part of budget cuts, or sometimes because of the lack of qualified instructors. There are decades of published research data reporting on the critical need to provide arts integration in our schools. Some of the titles include: “Teachers are using theater and dance to teach math — and it’s working,” or “Arts-Based Education Will Power the Creative Economy.”
Bringing together reading and the dramatic arts, local North County Read Across America Celebrations were held recently in each of our school districts, schools, and child care centers. Several schools throughout the North County invited me to share some of my favorite books such as “Green Eggs and Ham” or “Huevos Verdes con Jamón.” One of my favorite Seuss quotes that is reflective of the arts is about inspiring inner potential.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Dr. Seuss is reminding students, families, teachers, and the community that we all have something unique to offer the world and we need to empower everyone’s talents. When I enter our classrooms in the North County the dedicated teachers, staff, administrators, and community volunteers foster the untapped talents of our youth through the arts, agriculture, Skills USA, and Career & Technical Education programs.
I am pleased to report that Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, Vina Robles in Paso Robles, Opera SLO, Symphony of the Vines, and the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art are working with our office to support arts in North County schools. Over the summer space for all North County schools will be provided at Studios on the Park to display student art. The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is currently sponsoring the “Awakenings” art program featuring young artists across the county. Opera SLO is providing dozens of art outreaches to thousands of students throughout San Luis Obispo County with a focus on the North County. Symphony of the Vines provides fully sponsored student tickets to any concert in the North County. Additionally, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education’s Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Brent Mosser is linking arts-based organizations with our schools and providing support for the arts. The people of the North County make this area such a special place to live, work, and raise a family. I am proud to serve as your county superintendent of schools and to promote the arts.