Officials look to expand ArtCart program in Wood County schools

Photo by Michael Erb PARS Brain and Spine Institute on Garfield Avenue in Parkersburg opened an ArtCart art show Wednesday night, with artwork from fourth-grade Lubeck Elementary School students on display in the building’s upper lobby.

PARKERSBURG — Passage of Wood County Schools’ continuing levy Tuesday means an Artsbridge-organized program to bring arts into schools will continue, but officials say they eventually want to see ArtCart in every elementary school.

The ArtCart program brings art lessons to students in schools which otherwise do not have art programs. Started three years ago by Artsbridge, the program has grown from being piloted at one school to this year serving students in nine schools.

Following Tuesday’s election and levy passage, Superintendent Will Hosaflook said he would seek additional funding to expand the program.

“We definitely want to encourage the arts in our schools whenever we can,” he said. “ArtCart is a huge program in the county and we’d like to see it grow.”

The continuing levy includes $10,000 in funding for the program. Hosaflook said he plans to talk to the board about matching the levy funds for ArtCart to bring the program to more students.

“I’d like to see us enhance the program across the county,” he said.

Artsbridge Executive Director Amanda DeBarr Stevens said reaching students throughout the county has been the goal of the ArtCart program since day one.

“Expanding this program into every elementary school in Wood County has been part of the vision and a dream of ours since its inception in 2016,” she said. “This program has been incredibly successful. It’s been praised by students and teachers and principals alike.

“Right now it is our fastest growing and most popular program.”

Students presented ArtCart portfolios to the Wood County Board of Education during recent Local School Improvement Council presentation fairs. PARS Brain and Spine Institute on Garfield Avenue in Parkersburg opened an ArtCart art show Wednesday night, with artwork from fourth-grade Lubeck Elementary School students on display in the building’s upper lobby.

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