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SEF's Enrichment Program nets Artist of Year award

posted Mar 5, 2020, 8:55 PM by Fran Hunter   [ updated Mar 6, 2020, 12:56 PM ]
Smithville Education Foundation's Arts Enrichment Days Program received the 6th annual Artist of the Year award at the annual banquet of the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce "for their Tremendous Artistic Contribution to our Community." The award was chosen by a panel of judges of the Richard D. Latham Cultural District.

On the plaque, quoted is:

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. 
~Pablo Picasso

We are very proud and pleased to have touched the lives of so many children in our community, on our goal to help inspire our children to be the best they can be.

SPEECH READ DURING AWARDS CEREMONY:  The Smithville Education Foundation was founded in 2011 after the state drastically cut funding for schools.  SEF is a 501c3 non-profit and rely strictly on donations to fund the programs.  The programs include Enrichment Days at Brown Primary and the Elementary schools, Innovative Teaching Grants for our teachers and the education foundation manages the Bastrop County Character Education Program. Smithville Education Foundation recently awarded $4,600 in grants to the teachers in our district and they are once again in the process of producing the banners which line Smithville's streets. 

Smithville Education Foundation's flagship program is Enrichment Day.  These began shortly after their inception to fill the cuts that were made to the art programs across the state.  They coordinate our efforts with the school district to put these days together, and the kids look forward to them every time. At Brown Primary, grades Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd get to participate in four different activities during each Enrichment Day.  While the kids are in this program, the teachers use this time to meet as a team and analyze data and plan for the coming weeks.  

The four activities include art, movement, culture, and science.  The art and movement activities are organized by SEF and the district leads the science and culture activities. The art lessons are led by an artist, currently Brandy Royster and the movement activities alternate between gymnastics and yoga.  The district puts together the other two activities which include lessons about different countries and a hands-on science lesson.  

This program is also being funded for the Elementary school but the management and organization is being done solely by the district.  Between Brown and the Elementary this program touches almost 800 students each of the four times we are doing it this year. 

This year Smithville Education Foundation received a grant from Born Again Emporium to help fund the Enrichment Day efforts.  SEF President Nancy Towry expressed her appreciation of the support from BAE and the entire community.  It takes many organizations in our community to make programs successful.

Smithville Education Foundation's mission is to support SISD by working together with the community to serve as a catalyst for generating and distributing resources to inspire students to excel. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OTHER AWARD WINNERS:
Citizen of the Year:  Janice Bruno
Organization of the Year:  Smithville Empty Bowl Project
Business of the Year:  A&S Electric
Growing Business Award:  CALBRI Logistics 
Growing Business Award:  Bella’s Cottage
Keep Smithville Beautiful Award:  Dorothy Richards
Chamber Spotlight for Excellence in Workforce Development:  Smithville ISD Continuing Technical Education Program
Chamber Spotlight Award: Kragh’s Jewelry
Chamber Spotlight Award:  Betty Kahanek
Artist of the Year:  Smithville Education Foundation Arts Enrichment Days
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