BUFFALO, N.Y. — Students from five different Buffalo Public Schools were able to create, talk about their work and describe the process to others this weekend thanks to scholarships from the Allentown Village Association.
Each of the school art programs that were chosen were provided with a $1,000 grant for materials to work on their projects that went on display at the Allentown Art Festival—and were even for sale.
A portion of the money raised from the sales are split between the students, showing that their work can make them money. The rest of the money helps pave the way for future students to also receive the scholarship.
South Park High School's art program was chosen for the scholarship this year, as well as when Casandra Rodriguez was a student there. She says having such a strong art program at her high school inspired her as well as many other students.
"I feel like it's really important especially for people [who’ve] never had anyone to teach them how to sew and make different things, like I know kids that have been so inspired and had no interest in school but they came to school for art only and then graduated because of my arts program," she said.
Michele Agosto, the supervisor of art education at Buffalo Public Schools, feels their art programs are strong and receiving the competitive scholarships help prove that.
"This kind of event just really exemplifies what our students can do and when you give them the ability to create, and when you give them the opportunity to show what they can do, and it's not just math, science and English that are often assessed. This can be assessed, you can see what they can do. The arts, music, art, all of these world languages, things that people have kind of thought were peripheral curriculum are really important in order to make a student whole."
On the first day of the art festival, South Park High School alone made $1,300, something students never thought was possible.
PS 53 Community School, South Park High School, The International Preparatory School, Middle Early College High School, PS Lewis J. Bennett and PS Emmerson Annex were the schools chosen. They applied back in the fall and were chosen in January.