NWA Schools Receive $15,000 in Art Supplies

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A commitment to getting art supplies into the hands of all students, $15,000 worth of art supplies to Springdale Schools.

“The average art teacher in schools across Arkansas gets anywhere from nothing to about $500 in art supplies,” says Paul Leopoulos, Thea Foundation Executive Director.

The Thea Foundation of Little Rock, along with Crystal Bridges and the Pat Willard Walker Foundation delivered the supplies to J.O. Kelly Middle School Wednesday morning.

 “Matter of fact one of our kids who was helping us unload said this is like Christmas,” says Sara Ford, J.O Kelly Middle School Principal.

“I feel really happy and blessed that we can have all this stuff," adds Ellison Poellot, 7th grade student at J.O Kelly Middle School.

The Thea Foundation was founded 10 years ago in memory of Paul Leopoulas' daughter, Thea, who was killed in a car accident.

The whole mission is based on her life and how she was influenced by creativity.

“Once she got into a creative mode in school everything changed, her confidence and therefore her grades went up, her willingness to go to school,” says Leopoulos.

But Leopoulus says teachers also need to be taught how to teach art.

“One of the real problems in education that hasn't been addressed in 50 years is the fact that every child learns differently and if you don't cater to a child learns they get bored, they fail, they drop out">

So the foundation also offers a program called A Plus Schools, teaching teachers and principals creativity in the classroom every day in each subject.

The supplies will be divided up evenly among eight Northwest Arkansas schools.