SEDAST deserves our thanks

We’ve all heard over recent years about schools cutting their art and music programs to allocate that money more to the “traditional” classes. While reading, math and writing skills are certainly important tools to acquire, children’s abilities to expand their minds and opportunities through creative outlets have taken a hit.

Well, a local group of artists are doing all they can to help schools preserve those classes.

Members of the SouthEastern Delaware Artist Studio Tour (SEDAST) recently presented checks to Frankford and Philip C. Showell elementary schools — money which was raised through the group’s “Art in the Hat” raffle during its annual tour.

SEDAST began the raffle in 2000 with the specific idea of raising money for art in local schools, and have accumulated nearly $29,000 in that time. Consider that Frankford Elementary School has an annual $1,000 budget to fund its art program — and that SEDAST gave them a check for $1,130 last week.

That’s difference-making kind of money for a school, and its students.

“It’s really wonderful,” said Marci Stake, art teacher at Frankford Elementary. “It’s incredible to see this much money, and the kids are very excited. We run out of markers and paint quickly, and this money can make a big difference.”

Aside from the obvious help to the art department, the kids also learn another valuable lesson — a small group of people can make a very large difference in their community.

We thank the members of SEDAST for doing what it is they love to do and letting the community share in their tour every year, as well as affording another generation the opportunity to learn about art and to have an outlet in which to express themselves creatively.

There are numerous groups and organizations in this area that put together their efforts, minds and hearts to make this a better place to live and visit, and we owe them all a hearty thank-you for their selfless work. And it looks like they’re teaching the next wave the same lesson.