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For immediate release
March 9, 2004

State Board encourages celebration of the arts

(Springfield, Ill.) – The Illinois State Board of Education encourages all educational communities to celebrate the arts during March – annually designated as Music in Our Schools Month® by the National Association for Music Education. School activities focusing on music are particularly encouraged this week, March 8 -14, Illinois Arts Education Week.

As part of Illinois Arts Education Week, ISBE and the Alliance for Arts Education recognized the winner of a jointly sponsored art contest. The design by April Day Dohrman, a senior at Delavan High School, Delavan, Illinois, was selected for posters celebrating the 22nd Annual Illinois Arts Education Week sent to all public and nonpublic schools. A smaller version of the poster can be downloaded at www.isbe.net/curriculum along with more information and a proclamation.

“Raising awareness for the arts is very important to me,” said Dohrman. “I have been involved in music since the 5th grade and I have taken several art classes in school. If everyone had a special place in their hearts for some form of art, the world would truly be a wonderful place.”

In 1997, Illinois became one of the first states to adopt learning standards. Those standards – what students know and be able to do - include fine arts and English language arts. With adoption of the standards, Illinois and the State Board of Education endorsed arts in our schools as one of seven learning areas that include math, science, social science, physical development, health and foreign languages. Arts education includes dance, drama, music and visual arts for students from kindergarten through grade 12.

“Fine arts add the creative component that is key to learning alongside problem-solving,” said State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller. “Educators have long-recognized that creativity is also part and parcel of learning science and mathematics.”

Schools and families are encouraged to plan activities and events. Suggested activities and ideas can be found at: www.menc.org/guides/wlc/tg03/insideactivity.html

Copies of Dohrman’s poster with resources and information on the back can also be obtained from the State Board of Education.

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777