Ardmore City Schools fine arts receives 6-figure grant

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - "They are just counting the days," middle school music teacher Sarah Watts said, "Are they going to be here today? Are they going to be here today Ms. Watts? So they are super excited, they can't wait."

Fine arts teachers like Sarah Watts and Jill Hagan say the over $300,000 dollar grant from the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation will go much further than providing new instruments.

"It helps us teach and it helps enrich the lives of the kids and we are just appreciative," Director of orchestras Jill Hagan said.

Watts says she got $77,000 to be used to purchase a piano lab that will provide 23 keyboards for the students to use for piano lessons.

"When they are able to have a creative outlet they produce better in their core classes and they have an outlet for life that they will have forever," Watts said.

"The Trustees are always pleased to be able to participate in a project that is going to take an organization to the next level and enhance what they can do, " President Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation Mary Kate Wilson.

Assistant Director Chauvin Aaron says the money will be shared between each department to buy new equipment, pay for private lessons, or go towards the trips the kids take.

Students like Senior Blake Westbrook who is on the school's drum line say they're excited about the extra cash too.

"It has been quite a long time since we got any new instruments, like some of our bells are falling apart and so to have new ones is just really nice to have them," Westbrook said.

Aaron says this will help Ardmore city schools reach their goal of becoming a fine arts magnet.

"We are hoping to improve our music programs, improve our fine arts program and give our students the ability to better compete," Aaron said.

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