Delphi mom pushes for art education in schools

A mother in Carroll County is working to bring art education back to Delphi's middle and elementary schools.

Posted: Jul 26, 2018 5:49 PM

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI)— A Carroll County mother is calling on the Delphi Community School Board and Superintendent to bring back art education.

Cooper James Smothers, 11, could be a big time artist some day.

"Maybe, maybe not," said Cooper. 

He'd at least like the opportunity to find out. His mom, Andrea Smothers worries he won't get that until later.

"By the time they get to high school, they're not going to be able or ready to do any of the art, graphic design, those kind of classes or education that's going to be provided," said Smothers. 

Andrea Smothers is trying to get an art education program added to Delphi Elementary and Middle Schools.

"Parents want it. We've had tremendous support from the letter to the editor that came out just yesterday," said Smothers. "We started a Facebook page, called advocates for art in Delphi and so we have that to try to educate people and promote that and to get the school board and the Superintendent to realize how important that really is."

However, Superintendent Greg Briles said he knows the importance of art education. He wishes it was in the budget.

"It's not to say that we won't look at it in the future, but you have to look at enrollment if our numbers can't dictate having an art class, we can't have an art class," said Briles. 

Briles has asked the elementary school prinicipal to incorporate art education into a class called integrated technology this year. But he said art doesn't fit in the current middle school curriculum.

"Where do we reduce in order to get the numbers for the students to go inside the art class?" asked Briles. "So, that's something that the middle school principal is going to be evaluating she's going to be working on finding ways to possibly put an art program in."

Smothers said if the schools can find a way to create a program, there would be tremendous community support to help finance some of those supplies, and materials and resources that they would need to execute it.

But if that's not enough, Smothers hopes administration listens to what the students have to say. Her son, Cooper wants an art education program so he can use his imagination in class. 

"And there's nothing wrong with imagination, kids need that!" said Cooper.

Smothers plans to bring up this issue again at the next school board meeting on August 13. 

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