Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


November 25, 2013

Boost for arts

Anonymous gift will enrich the lives of Fairview kids

ASHLAND — It’s a fact of life that when money gets tight in the public schools, the arts are among the first areas in which to cut spending. In some ways, that’s understandable because for most people mastering mathematics or advanced biology seems more important than learning to paint a beautiful work of art or marching in the school band. But there is also ample evidence indicating how the arts can enhance learning in academic areas that  seem little related to art, music and drama.

Thanks to a $50,000 gift from a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous, the Fairview Independent School District will not have to choose between academics and the arts. It can offer its students both.

The generous donor made the large donation to the school district through the Paramount Arts Center. The Paramount will use the money to provide wide-ranging arts experiences and instruction to students from kindergarten through high school.

The gift will enable Fairview classes to attend any of the Paramount’s educational programs for a year and its teachers may take any of its professional development offerings for the same amount of time, according to Jenny Holmes, marketing director for the Paramount. The donor, who Holmes said is an Ashland man with a longtime devotion to the arts and the Paramount, chose Fairview because he wanted to bring arts opportunities to disadvantaged children. Fairview fit the bill because of its high percentage of children in the lower economic bracket.

The Paramount’s education and outreach department created a new program, Arts Immersion, to administer the gift. The program will bring arts in every form, from singing and dancing to painting, to children at every grade level. With the professional development opportunities, teachers will be able to sustain arts education once the funding is concluded.

Paramount instructors also will make the short trip to Westwood periodically for in-school programs.

The gift is a godsend to a district with little money to spend on arts, said third-grade teacher Kim Stambaugh. Other than a music teacher, arts are mainly taught by classroom teachers, who typically don’t have specialized skills, she said. The value of Paramount presentations lasts far beyond the curtain calls, according to Stambaugh. Children write essays on what they’ve seen, and sometimes recreate the performances in class, she said.

Fairview also is eligible for Kentucky Arts Council TranspARTation grants through the Paramount, Holmes said. The grants provide transportation funding to Paramount programs.

As adults who as children tended to be better at writing or drama than at calculus and world history, we applaud the donor for giving arts education in the Fairview schools a major boost. Since few students ever go on to strike is rich as singers, actors, dancers, poets and musicians, studying and arts may not make you rich, but it definitely will enrich your life. 

Text Only
  • Positive trend

    For those adults who have a low opinion of American teenagers, Uncle Sam’s latest study of worrisome behavior among teens provides some good news: Teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. Most forms of drug use, weapons use and risky sex also are declining — and have been since 1991, the year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first started surveying teens about  their behavior.

    July 24, 2014

  • Research's value

    In pushing for a higher education reform bill in the late 1990s, former Gov. Paul Patton set an ambitious goal of having the University of Kentucky become a Top 20 research university by 2020. UK has yet to accomplish that goal, but UK and the University of Louisville both have made great advances in research in recent years.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deadline is near

    People with Kentucky driver’s licenses may soon be required to show a passport or some other accepted form of federal identification to enter “restricted” or “semi-restricted” areas of federal facilities, including federal courthouses, military bases, federal prisons and a wide range of other federal offices.

    July 23, 2014

  • Issue is safety

    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has recommended softball  “players at first base, third base and pitcher utilize the permissive requirement in the playing rules and wear face/head protection.”

    July 23, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • 0518greene.jpeg Greene-Lounsberry

    John and Eva Greene of Greenup are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacey Nicole Greene, to Jonathan Wesley Lounsberry.

    May 18, 2014 1 Photo