50 Stories 50 Years: Central Academy

Central Academy – Tahlequah  |  School  |  http://www.tahlequahschools.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Central  

Central Academy, one of Oklahoma’s nation-leading alternative education centers, provides an additional dimension of education to their Tahlequah students – art education.

According to school leaders, the school is in a town and education system where creative outlets can be one of the first “non-essentials” to be cut out. Central Academy has been able to provide such outlets to allow students to express “their uniqueness and individuality, and [to] gain that sense of accomplishment and worthiness” (Paula Sloan, Director of Alternative Education for Tahlequah Public Schools).

Central Academy has increased the human capital of their students, many of whom struggle internally and externally with a sense of failure, through experience of and successful participation in the arts. This kind of increased human capital is an essential wellspring for ongoing community vitality in Tahlequah.

According to Sloan, these achievements have only been possible through the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Arts in Alternative Education Grant. Decreases in the Oklahoma Arts Council’s budget would severely hamper, if not eliminate, Central Academy’s ability to provide these creative outlets and wellsprings of community vitality to their students, which ripple out to the Tahlequah community.

This story celebrates 50 years of the Oklahoma Arts Council and how the state’s investments have positive ripple effects on communities across Oklahoma. See other stories or follow this link for more information.