|Visual arts winners: Heather Patton, Deryka Dasch and Curtis Mason.|
The Emery and Carbon counties PTA combined to present the annual Reflections Awards for excellence in the arts. The Region PTA President Nancy Cammans welcomed everyone to the program which was held in the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. Emery District Superintendent, Kirk Sitterud was the speaker for the program and he also passed out the Emery Council awards. The Carbon Council awards were presented by Jennifer Chiara and Nancy Cammans presented the awards to the region winners. The region winners have now gone on to the state level where they will be judged with entries from throughout the state.
Superintendent Sitterud said, "We live in a time when our country's educational focus has been directed by something called NCLB- No Child Left Behind. And while its goals are admirable we find ourselves consumed with accountability in reading, math and science and many times regrettably at the expense of creativity through the arts. We also face the challenges of the Utah Performance Assessment System for programs being reduced and/or eliminated in order to find additional time to prepare kids for academic assessments by which schools are being judged and labeled. And yet research shows us that by neglecting the arts we are neglecting one of the very centers of human development.
"Always among the highest expression of every culture, the arts teach us much about every historical period through its literature, visual arts, music, dance and drama. Today it is recognized that to be truly well educated one must not only learn to appreciate the arts, but must have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work. The arts are languages that most people speak, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background and ability. They can bring every subject to life and turn abstractions into concrete reality.
If students are to fully embrace the rich and diverse cultures of the world; if they are to live up to their full cognitive potential; if they are to be prepared for living and working in a technologically driven world; and if they are to live a life alive and wide-awake to the possibilities yet to come, this promise of the arts as basic education must be realized."
"Research shows us that:
"The arts teach kids to be more tolerant and open.
"The arts allow kids to express themselves creatively.
"The arts promote individuality, bolster self-confidence and improve overall academic performance.
"The arts can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to delinquent behavior and truancy while providing an improved attitude towards school.
"Learning through the arts often results in greater academic achievement and higher test scores.
"I congratulate you young people for your interest in arts education and for your accomplishments that have brought you here tonight.
"I challenge you to never lose your passion for creativity. Your lives will be more rich as you continue to develop your artistic talents. And you'll have a lot more fun too. Keep up the good work," said Superintendent Sitterud.
Students can enter the categories of literature, photography, visual arts, dance, music, theatre, film and video and three dimensional artwork.
The Emery County PTA council winners: in literature: Savannah Woolsey and Lauren Clarke; in photography, Mileena McElvaney, Dawson Jensen and Cassidy Labrum; in visual arts, Heather Patton, Curtis Mason, and Deryka Dasch; in three dimensional arts, Tyler Dasch, Tucket Allred, and Mileena McElvaney.