POMONA - Representatives of the American Museum of Ceramic Art have asked members of the Pomona Unified School District Board of Education for its support in order to continue providing field trips to the museum.

Museum representatives, including founder and president David Armstrong, asked Tuesday night that the district provide bus transportation so students can continue visiting the museum.

Students should be exposed to arts but budget cuts can make it difficult for students to have art programs in school, he said. Through the museum students can still have exposure to art, in this case ceramic art.

Armstrong said with help of benefactor Jody Siegler the the museum has enough money to pay for materials, the time of an art instructor and other costs associated with bringing the students to the museum.

"The thing we were hoping the school district would do is help" with transportation, Armstrong said Wednesday. "We just never know what they can or can't do."

If the district can take on all or part of the transportation costs, it would allow the facility to stretch out the money it has for the program and reach more students, Armstrong said.

Last fall more than 800 district students visited the museum with funds raised with the help of Siegler. The event was way to memorialize Siegler's daughter, Julia Cukier Siegler, who died at age 13 in 2010.

School Board President Roberta Perlman asked Superintendent Richard Martinez on Tuesday to explore the matter and "let's see what we can put together.


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Perlman said Wednesday said it may be possible to provide some money for transportation.

"It may be doable but we have to look at the funding carefully," Perlman said.

"We are very, very committed to the arts," Perlman said but added school board members don't want to take from one program to give to another.

Superintendent Richard Martinez said Wednesday he has spoken with Siegler who asked for the district's assistance.

Martinez said it may be possible to use some federal dollars, funds generated through the district Saturday schools program or use some of those dollars and seek the fundraising help of parent-teacher groups.

Armstrong said he is committed to bring students to the museum. If the school district can't provide transportation funds, museum personnel will find a way of continuing to offer field trips even if it means using his own money.

"One way or another we really have to do this," he said.


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