On a mission to make music

Leah Witthuhn is on a mission to get instruments into the hands of students who want to play one.

“Music has always been a really, really big part of my life,” said the 18-year-old Witthuhn, who has been playing guitar since she was 3 years old. “I can’t imagine my life without it. I just want to help shape kids the way it shaped me.”

Full Story: On a mission to make music

Should Education Focus Less On The Creative Arts, More On The Art Of Creativity?

We have a problem in our country right now. Like the energy crisis of the 1970s, we now have a creativity crisis brewing in our schools. And in as little as ten years it will directly affect all businesses, particularly in marketing. However, I have a possible solution. Let’s reframe how we look at creativity in public schools from a series of downstream talents (e.g. music, theater and the visual arts) to a more upstream lifeskill that can be applied to all aspects of a student’s life …

Continue at:   Should Education Focus Less On The Creative Arts, More On The Art Of Creativity?

19th Annual Battle of the Books takes place at ECC South | wivb.com

I would have absolutely LOVED this as a kid!!

Twenty three teams. One hundred and fifty nine competitors.14 libraries and five books. That’s what makes up Buffalo’s Battle of the Books.

Mary Jean Jakubowski, Director of Erie County’s Public Library System, told News 4, “It is an exciting jeopardy round program, that will go through a series of eliminations answering unbelievably specific questions about 5 books that these children have been reading.”

Full Story:  19th Annual Battle of the Books takes place at ECC South | wivb.com

Splash of color added to Newark Avenue, courtesy of art students (PHOTOS) | NJ.com

Beautiful flowers are popping up along along Newark Avenue in Jersey City — and as a bonus, they never need to be watered.

The flowers — and other incredible designs — are being painted by Jersey City high school students in the planters all along the busy stretch of roadway. The project, under the guidance of teacher Danielle Scott, is being completed by 26 students from Snyder, Dickinson, Ferris and McNair high schools.

Great use of HS Art Students!  Let them get involved.  It helps them to develop “real world” art skills and to take pride in their community.  Why more High Schools don’t do projects like this is something I’ve never understood.

Full Story: Splash of color added to Newark Avenue, courtesy of art students (PHOTOS) | NJ.com

Universities Ditch Books for Digitization | theTrumpet.com

Controversy erupted at the University of California–Santa Cruz when 60 percent of its printed materials were removed from the Science & Engineering Library. Faculty members were outraged that approximately 80,000 books valued between $2-$6 million were hauled off campus or destroyed without their consultation. A proposal to remove 90 percent of written material from the Cabot Science Library at Harvard was scaled back by the faculty there.

The more I think about this story, the angrier I become.

It’s not the fact that the schools are going “digital” – that’s fine if their students are happy with that decision and I understand how much easier it probably is to manage their inventory & to provide open spaces in the library for the students.

No, what has me upset is that in some cases these “schools” are DESTROYING printed books when they make the transfer to digital.  How could they do this?

I cover stories on a weekly basis of schools desperately reaching out for book donations, of schools trying to find money in their budgets to add to a sub-par library.  Why would they do this when there are so many other options available?  Donate the unwanted tomes, hell – even sell them if you want some type of payoff for disposing of them.  But to just out-and-out destroy them?!

Shame.  Shame on you.  Shame on you for destroying the books, shame of you for apparently not even considering other options but most of all – shame on you for calling yourself a “school” or “educator”.  You are not worried about “educating” people, at least not as much as you are worried about making a profit.

I just find this all so very, very sad.

Source: Universities Ditch Books for Digitization | theTrumpet.com

Art used to improved patient experience at pediatrician 

Art teacher Amy Brauer brought a group of her students to paint murals and inside the waiting room and exam rooms of the pediatric office at Erlanger’s Dodson Community Health Center.

I absolutely love this!

For years I’ve said that art should be filling many of the stressful environments of life – schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.  And the fact that this was done by a teacher with her art class? – perfect!

We need a lot more of this type of public art in our communities.

Read full story at: Art used to improved patient experience at pediatrician | WTVC

Jazz Roots pairs music stars with Miami high school band students | Miami Herald

The Jazz Roots Sound Check program is free for the jazz band students, with transportation and tickets provided by the Arsht for each performance. Buses haul more than 150 students from the participating schools to each of the season’s six concerts, which have featured artists including Dave Brubeck, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sonny Rollins and Chick Corea.

Very cool.  I love programs that allow successful people to work with kids, those who hope to become what they already are.

Read at:  Jazz Roots pairs music stars with Miami high school band students | Miami Herald