A new post on Jessie B. Ramey‘s Yinzercation blog has caught The Washington Post‘s attention, and she hopes it will also catch the attention of the CAPA 6-12 school board as well.

Valerie Strauss writes that at the final school board meeting before the winter holidays, board members were presented with a request from some unexpected attendees. She then excerpts Ramey’s original blog post.

CAPA seniors William Grimm and Margaret Booth, on behalf of the student body, asked for one thing: for the budget cuts on their arts education to stop.

Booth and Grimm, who serve as co-presidents of CAPA’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society, collected statements from CAPA students of all ages and backgrounds. The responses came back with a theme.

“Cutting money towards the arts is like cutting out a child’s personality,” said one eleventh grader.

The statements only become more moving as the article continues. Strauss (and Ramey) write that the students’ presentation grew out of several years of watching their arts education courses slowly die away, everything from sculpting to private lessons for instrumentalists.

Senior Margaret Booth said it best in her personal statement to the board:

“As budgets are planned, I would ask you to keep the imaginative quality of youth in mind. The arts give students like me a voice louder than their own. Give them an instrument or a marker or music and they will give you a masterful new idea that could change the world. The arts unlock creative thinking and new approaches to problem solving quite different from STEM programs, something our future desperately needs.”

Read the full article and more student statements here.

Rebekah Zook is a Duquesne grad and all-around story-telling enthusiast. A former fellow at WESA, she worked as a production assistant for their daily talk show. Most recently, she taught in the Propel Charter School system as a visiting artist. When she isn’t writing, Rebekah is a trip leader for the local non-profit organization Venture Outdoors. You can usually find her in a bright yellow kayak.