Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
I want to thank the White House Office of Public Engagement for organizing this special session of Champions of Change.
At the roundtable, I met so many incredible people dedicated to the personal and academic development of children. They shared their success stories, ideas, and sited irrefutable data as to why the arts are so vital in America's schools. As the meeting concluded, they resolved to band together to keep fighting for the presence and funding of arts education.
The conversation truly affected me, because it made me reflect on my own school years. I was a good student, but many subjects didn't come easily to me. Without creative outlets, I know I would have felt inferior to my classmates, and I know many students feel the same today.
In difficult economic times, long term investments are often the first thing thrown to the wayside, and we all know why this measure is sometimes seen as necessary. However, I firmly believe that the scholastic development of children should never fall victim to this shortsightedness. The arts are not what keep so many American schools painfully underfunded; they are, in fact, what makes them rich in immeasurable ways.
I want to thank the Champions who were present for their inspiring work. I felt extremely blessed to be a part of that dialogue, and hope that I may be of service to these passionate and driven leaders in the future. I'd like to thank the White House Office of Public Engagement for their hospitality and inclusion of The Creative Coalition in this unique distinction. What a day.
Rachael Leigh Cook is an actor and sits on the Board of Directors for The Creative Coalition.