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Supporting Arts Education in South Brunswick

Brunswick Acres Elementary School needs help from the public to win a $5,000 grant for the art program.

Staff and students at Brunswick Acres Elementary School are getting creative with a contest to secure a $5,000 grant for the art program by urging the public to "Vote B.A. Daily."

Last week about 550 students and staff members filmed a music video parody of the hit song "Call Me Maybe" titled "Vote B.A. Daily," in hopes of spurring support for the school's effort to win a grant from Kris Wine and Americans for the Arts. 

"The cost of art materials goes up each year, while the budget for it gets lower each year," said Brunswick Acres art teacher Suzanne Tiedemann. "In other districts the art program is the first to get cut, so we're lucky to be in a district that supports the arts, but we're always looking for a way to subsidize the cost. This $5,000 grant could last us for years and truly benefit the art program."

The Kris Wine and Americans for the Arts are offering $25,000 in grants to support K-12 public school art programs throughout the country. The school with the most votes on the Kris Wine Facebook page will win the top prize of $5,000 and Brunswick Acres is in a tight race for the top spot with over 3,000 votes cast in their favor. 

"We do not want to rest easy or celebrate just yet though, because voters can vote once each day until October 31," Tiedemann said last week.  "Anything can happen in 20 days, so we are hoping that everyone keeps voting each day for Brunswick Acres."

With other schools starting to pull in over 1,000 votes in a day, Brunswick Acres needs the support of the entire community to win the grant money. Tiedemann praised the efforts of students, parents, staff members and her friends on social media in the voting. As a school that stresses the importance of social media to share student art projects with their relatives across the globe, Tiedemann said the contest helps bolster their efforts to share student accomplishments in the arts.

“There are so many benefits and rewards that result from sharing the work we do with others that are centered on providing the best possible education for students," she noted. "Publishing content gives us the forum to help boost students’ pride and self esteem, increases parent and family involvement, enables us to meet the National Technology standards, provides opportunities for financial support for programs that need it, models digital citizenship, all while engaging students so they can produce quality work they can be proud of. Many of my students have family who live in different parts of the world, so participating in a project like this gives extended family the opportunity to get involved and share in our successes too."

With voting for the top prize getting tight, Tiedemann decided to involve the whole school community with a song parody to drive more votes their way.

"I looked up the top song parodies in the U.S. and I thought 'Call Me Maybe' was the perfect song," she said. "I sat and wrote the words, changing it to 'Vote B.A. Daily.' We had the students practicing it for a few minutes at the end of art class. We wanted this whole thing to be about the students to give them ownership because everything we're doing is about supporting their artwork and bringing the whole community together."

Last Thursday, a sea of blue Brunswick Acres shirts descended on the front lawn of the school to film the parody. Jubilant students jumped, waved their arms as they mimicked a staff member's choreography for the song, and sang their hearts out as "Vote B.A. Daily" played in the background.

Helping Brunswick Acres in their efforts to win the $5,000 grant is simple and only takes a minute.

Vote for Brunswick Acres at the link below: 

https://www.facebook.com/kriswines/app_277727432252070

Like the Kris Wine Facebook page, type Brunswick Acres into the search box, click on the red pushpin and check the box. You can also visit the Brunswick Acres Art blog to stay current with their progress:

http://baart.weebly.com/-blognews.html

To view the Brunswick Acres performance of "Vote B.A. Daily" click the link below:

https://vimeo.com/51372195?action=share&ref=nf

"This is an opportunity to support the art program at the school and to raise awareness about the arts and how valuable it is for students," Tiedemann said.

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sqd66 October 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Brunswick Acres is doing great and used innovative ideas to get the community to vote for them and they deserve to win the $5,000 grant. Please note that Greenbrook Elementary School which is in 5th place right now also needs your vote. They are in the hopes of receiving a $2,000 grant from Kris Wine but needs all the votes they can get....support your schools by voting daily until the October 31st deadline.

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