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tainauke
09-08-2011, 02:03 AM
Stumbled upon this article (http://www.hawaii247.com/2011/09/07/got-a-spare-ukulele-please/), it says it all:

Music and the arts are “essentials” in a well-rounded youth education experience — so says all the research as well as native wisdom.

But in today’s federally mandated No Child Left Behind public educational environment, forget it. No arts. No music, either, in the public school day. The emphasis is entirely on reading and computing.

Funding is also very tight – more so for public charter schools, which have experienced much larger cuts than regular State DOE schools.

But Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School is very fortunate to have established a partnership five years ago with Kahilu Theatre Foundation and several donors to provide students a taste of performing arts after school.

“We are deeply grateful that Kahilu Theatre and their funders share our belief that the arts are essential – especially to middle school adolescents,” WMS Principal John Colson said.

But funding support has continued to dwindle – in part because many not-for-profit organizations have been compelled to pull back to focus on essentials – food, shelter and emergency services.

Thus, as WMS and Kahilu Theatre get ready to start the fifth year of their free K(Arts) after-school educational partnership, they too have had to scale back and figure out how to maximize participation with fewer dollars.

A partial solution is to expand ukulele classes – but the school lacks sufficient instruments. Hence, this plea to the community to consider donating spare, unused but useable ukulele to the school.

“We promise to give instruments a ‘good home’ – to take of them,” Colson said.

If you have a spare ukulele you are willing to part with, drop it off at the middle school office. For further information, call the school’s Community Liaison Patti Cook at 937-2833.

WMS’ 2011 K(Arts) program – which offer WMS students a choice of any two of the following – Ukulele, Tahitian Dancing, Hip Hop and Back Stage Production – will run for nine weeks, beginning Oct. 12. It will conclude with a Grand Finale Performance – free to everyone in the community including families and school friends — on the stage at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Kahilu Theatre.

Applications to participate in K(Arts) were sent home to WMS families last week. The program is exclusively for WMS 6th-8th grade students. Space is limited and first come.

For more information or to download the application, call Cook or K(Arts) Coordinator Bernie Marsh at 887-6090 Ext. 226, or visit http://www.waimeamiddleschool.org/ and click on the K(Arts) link.