Education celebration column: New orchestra program performs first holiday concert
BY DIANE BOYETT
Frequently, we get so busy doing what we do that we don't take time to celebrate the good things that surround us each day.
A year and a half ago, we decided in the Victoria school district that we were going to break that habit of missing the "good stuff" and celebrate something each day.
That decision led to the creation of a daily email for district's staff called "Today's Celebration."
Each morning, celebrations await our co-workers across the 612 square miles of excellence that is the Victoria school district.
One celebration leads to the sharing of another celebration. Some celebrations are districtwide, and others come from one classroom or small group.
Through the generosity of the Victoria Advocate, we have an opportunity to share those celebrations with the entire community. It is our hope that these celebrations will be a great way to start your week.
Recently, we celebrated the first holiday concert from the newly formed VISD High School Orchestra. For several years, the string orchestra program has grown through the middle schools. This year, as those students entered high school, many stayed with string orchestra. The multi-grade level concert was beautiful with almost 125 students in the orchestra program from grades six to 10.
Each time we gather at the Victoria Fine Arts Center for any program or activity, we celebrate the facility itself and the support of the community in allowing us to build this wonderful center.
There is no question that having the Victoria Fine Arts Center and the auditoriums at our two new high schools greatly enhanced the arts programs.
We know from research that participation in the arts amplifies academic success.
As 2013 drew to a close, the spirit of caring grew daily. Every school had some sort of drive collecting for those less fortunate.
For some schools, it was food. For others, it was warm clothing and toys. Others collected donations for shelter animals. Students shared the joy of the season in nursing homes, in service projects and through holiday programs that brought smiles to the faces of families and friends.
While most of the giving was formally organized, there was also a spontaneous outpouring of love for those around us. Three students at a school noticed their classmate needed clothes, and they bought nice clothes to share with the student. Rather than embarrass the student, they gave the clothes to a caring adult they knew would relay the gift in a sensitive manner.
The community also provides great resources for our students.
The Caterpillar Foundation awarded the after-school robotics club at Howell Middle School $5,000 recently to further the technology education of the students.
The University of Houston-Victoria recently awarded internships to 12 Victoria West engineering students. They attend UHV three hours a week to build and program robots with a UHV robotics professor. At the end of the program they will have experienced great opportunities and will keep a robot valued at $800.
Each day in the district, we are blessed to see excellence in action. Our motto is "Every child, every classroom, every day, achieving excellence for all." We invite you to read this celebration each week and come visit our schools to see the excitement for yourself.
Diane Boyett is the communications director for Victoria school district. Contact her at email@example.com.