Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Southern California Elementary School Smashes World Record and Shows Commitment to Arts

Nestled in Southern Riverside County, California is an elementary school that should be a model for all public schools.  Amidst the seemingly never ending California State budget cuts, Lisa J. Mails Elementary School in Murrieta showed how important the arts are.  Last Friday the school set out (and succeeded in!) breaking the World Record in the largest art lesson!  Correct that - it SMASHED the World Record by more than 200 participants! 

Lisa J. Mails didn't start out to be a performing and visual arts magnate school, but through the extensive support of the school staff, the parents and the district, it has become exactly that school.   Parents will commute in for their children to be a part of the well rounded education that it offers.  Watching the focus and determination of the children in beating the world record (yes it will be in the Guinness Book of World Records!), it couldn't have been a more appropriate school to hold the record for World's Largest Art Lesson! 

The previous record was set by an elementary school in England last year.

As a child during the Prop 13 era, I remember how strongly my mother fought (with other fantastic parents) to help keep the performing and visual arts a part of schools.  As school budgets shrunk, the arts were some of the first big cuts made to schools.  Back then it was ingrained in me how crucial the arts are to a child's education.  I was privileged to be able to participate in countless Broadway style (ok, so it wasn't really Broadway, but to us kids it felt like it!) stage productions like Hello Dolly, Bye Bye Birdie, Lil' Abner and more.  All of those productions were funded by the die hard parent organization that was determined to keep the performing and visual arts a part of childhood. 

Did they form the person who I grew up to be?  Absolutely.  Are the visual and performing arts valuable to raising well rounded kids?  Without a doubt.

Congratulations Lisa J. Mails Elementary School in showing the World how dedicated you are to providing a well rounded education for our children!

(Actual sign in the courtyard garden of Lisa J Mails Elementary School)




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