Students at each of the schools in Brooks County celebrated “National Arts in Education Week” September 13-17 with special projects and activities. According to Americans for the Arts, which sponsors the week each year, the arts are essential. They teach students innumerable lessons—practice makes perfect, small differences can have large effects, collaboration leads to creativity. The arts also teach children that there a several paths to take when approaching problems and that all problems can have more than one solution. Research has also shown impressive benefits of arts education on entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, and attendance. Numerous reports discuss the ways that increased access and involvement in arts education encourage students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life, and succeed in work.
“We are very fortunate to have a wide variety of Arts programming in Brooks County Schools,” says Janie Jones, School System Fine Arts Coordinator. “The importance of the arts to young people is being realized more and more. Support from our Board of Education, the Georgia Department of Education, the school system, community partners, parents, and families has led to expansion and enhancement of Arts programs at each of our schools.” Federal grant funding from Title IV Part A and GaDOE funding from stART grants for rural systems have contributed greatly to this. “These funds have enabled us to provide more instruction, supplies and equipment, and opportunities for our students,” says Mrs. Jones.
During Arts in Education Week, each of the schools were spotlighted for their Arts endeavors. At Brooks County High School, the Visual Art classes worked on a large mural with the theme “Arts Matter.” The Band, Chorus, and Dance classes all contributed by performing at the home football game September 10. The Drama classes are working hard on their One-Act Play for competition in October. Brooks County Middle School Visual Art students displayed their “Sun and Moon” drawings, and BCMS 6th grade Band members wrote and performed an original piece of music. At Quitman Elementary School, Visual Art classes are studying Hispanic Heritage Month with art from Mexico and Central America. The QES Music classes learned about rhythm while using “boomwhacker” instruments. North Brooks Elementary Art students completed paintings resembling Andy Warhol’s style, and NBES Music students are working with world percussion instruments that were provided with stART Grant funds. At Delta Innovative School,
the students are also learning about world percussion with drums and dance, and a new Art Club has been formed. The Early Learning Center students are all about art and music, creating crayon rubbings and having fun learning rhythms.
Board of Education President Larry Cunningham signed a Proclamation at the Board meeting September 14, declaring “Arts in Education Week” as September 13-18 in Brooks County. Mr. Cunningham added that he and the entire BOE are pleased with the Arts throughout the school system. “I know first-hand how Arts Education shaped my school experience. The impact of the arts to young people will last a lifetime, and many will find their career paths there.” In 2020, Brooks County High School was approved to offer the Fine Arts Pathway and Diploma Seal to graduating seniors. The icing on the cake is the upcoming opening of the Performing Arts Center that is located adjacent to Brooks County High School. “Having this center will open up even more opportunities for our students and community,” said Mr. Cunningham.
“I am thankful to our Arts teachers and our school staff for providing so much creativity and expression for our students,” said Superintendent Vickie Reed. “The Arts are alive in Brooks County Schools!”