A gift for art

The Mercer Island School District’s Fine Arts Advisory Committee presented a gift of $80,000 to fund a certified art teacher at the three elementary schools starting this fall.

Following two years of fundraising for the ‘ArtBus,’ parent Megan Hand’s vision of providing art education in a moveable classroom using a renovated school bus, has finally been realized through the support of numerous generous community donors and a major gift from an anonymous donor.

According to Anne Hritzay, the current president of the arts committee, the idea of delivering arts education has morphed from the ArtBus begun by Hand, to the delivery of art curriculum in the classrooms with teacher support at the third, fourth and fifth grade levels.

The funds will provide approximately 14-18 hours of Washington state mandated art curriculum at all three elementary schools. Supporters say that this is just the beginning of providing a comprehensive districtwide visual literacy component to elementary education at Island schools.

“For the first time in Mercer Island history, our elementary students will receive foundation art curriculum from a state-certified visual arts teacher, starting this fall,” Hritzay said.

The Fine Arts Advisory Committee is made up of community volunteers who, 30 years ago, saw the need for a music program in Island schools and helped to hire the first music teacher.


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