National fund for arts and education visits Beckley Elementary - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

National fund for arts and education visits Beckley Elementary

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Courtesy of Matthew Badger Courtesy of Matthew Badger
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Students in Elizabeth Raney's third grade class at Beckley Elementary are combining curriculum in science and art – a treat they usually don't have.

"They don't have a separate art class all the time.  A lot of them, it's the first time they ever really painted with real paints on a canvas, and even really heard of Van Gogh," says Raney.

This project was selected to receive almost $5000 in funding from the LilySarahGraceFund.  The fund supports teachers using art, what they call a universal language, to enhance their lessons.

"It feels like it's fun for them, and they're actually creating [something] themselves.  And it's kind of hidden that you're actually learning," says Matthew Badger, the organization's founder.

Badger established these efforts after losing his three daughters Lily, Sarah, and Grace in a devastating Connecticut house fire last Christmas. 

"I missed them so much, and I couldn't understand where I was supposed to put all that love I used to pour into them," says Badger.  "That's where the idea of the fund came [from] because I had to keep fathering them.  I just couldn't stop."

Badger says his daughters loved the arts in school and would be proud of his achievements.

"What I felt was that Lily and Sarah and Grace could be like little angels that sort of go out and help other little kids have a really great education," says Badger.

And as for the Beckley Elementary Students –

"They're very interested in science and art.  It's two subjects that they love anyways," says Raney.

For more on the LilySarahGraceFund visit http://www.lilysarahgracefund.org/.

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