GLOVERSVILLE - Members of Scitamard, the Gloversville Enlarged School District drama club cut by the district two years ago, petitioned Board of Education members Monday night to reinstate the club and offer financial support.
Several parents of current and former Scitamard members, as well as students who have been active in the group, asked Board of Education members to give the group back its club status with the school and to possibly match its fundraising efforts by giving the club $500 toward the $1,000 salary for a club adviser.
Courtney Danise, who will be a junior in the fall, said she and the other club members would appreciate "anything [the board] can do to help."
"[Being in Scitamard] teaches life skills," she said.
Danise said club members learn how to use tools and make measurements when they create sets and improve their study habits through memorizing lines.
Danise's mother, Valerie Danise, said she has been amazed at the skills and accomplishments her daughter has demonstrated through her participation in Scitamard.
Joseph Poyfair, who will be a senior in the fall, said the club helped him gain self-confidence and has given him public- speaking skills that will help him later in life.
"[This club] is too important to take away from the community," he said.
Board members asked how much a production can cost and how much the club would need from the district to get moving again. Kim Pepper said a production can cost upward of $10,000, but said the club wants to put on smaller, less-expensive shows to build up its funds.
Board of Education President Pete Semione said the board may consider reinstating the club, but pointed out several other clubs have been cut or eliminated in the past few years.
"If we say yes to [Scitamard], that really opens the door for every other group [that's been cut]," he said. "As much as we would like to, I'm not sure we can. We can't say yes to one and then no to all the others."
Semione said he would like to see Scitamard organize itself much like the Gloversville Music Booster Club has organized itself, by drawing on community support rather than relying on the district.
Kayleigh Karutis covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org