After all, he has first-hand knowledge. His daughter Grace, who had dyslexia, skipped to school every day and cried at the end of the school year. He believes she thrived because her teacher used arts and creativity in the classroom to teach the curriculum.
Lily, Grace's older sister, who also had dyslexia, however, suffered from panic attacks. The teaching style she received was much more traditional.
"I think that there is a percentage in every classroom where kids are visual learners, and I think that it's a travesty that they don't have any arts funding for these children. Many kids are getting lost," said Badger, who resides in New York City.
Badger lost Lily, Grace and his other daughter, Sarah, in the horrific Christmas Day fire in Stamford last year.
To honor their lives, he founded the LilySarahGrace Fund, which supports the arts in under-funded public elementary schools nationwide.
He attended the school board meeting to introduce the fund to Norwalk and to promote Art `n Bloom, a Sept. 13 benefit which will support the fund and Norwalk schools.
"The state of Connecticut is where my children died, and I think it would be great if the state of Connecticut took advantage of the fund that I've created," Badger said. "It would be great to have more of your teachers apply for our funds.
"I'm not asking anything of you except accepting us into your community and allowing us to provide the supplies. I think our program empowers teachers. I think the climate we are in currently, teachers are not being validated and not being considered the number one role models of our society, which I believe they are.
"I love teachers. My kids loved teachers. The LilySarahGrace Fund loves teachers."
Badger told Hearst Media prior to the meeting that Lily, Sarah and Grace demonstrated their artistic talent every day.
"The thing they loved to do most was create and imagine," said Badger, a father still grieving the loss of his beloved daughters while working hard to turn his tragedy into something positive for the benefit of other children.
Since its founding in January, the LilySarahGrace Fund has raised and distributed $275,000 to schools nationwide, funding 632 grants and affecting 61,000 students, including 16 classrooms in Connecticut, benefitting 1,695 students.
Children in Norwalk will directly benefit from Art `n Bloom, which will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Manice Lockwood Mansion on 25 France St. in Norwalk. The event is free and open to the public.
Art `n Bloom will showcase the work of 13 Norwalk artists, all of whom are members of St. Philip Artists Guild, and each artist's exhibit will be complemented by a floral arrangement from The Silk Touch. Owner and floral designer Danna DiElsi came up with the concept for the show and suggested to the artists that the proceeds go to the Badger family fund.
"I couldn't imagine going through that," DiElsi said of Badger's loss. DiElsi said she also wanted to be part of the effort to bring forward the message about Badger's mission. She sympathizes with children who struggle in school because they just don't get the material -- not because they are intellectually incapable, but because they learn differently than other students and traditional teaching methods don't accommodate them.
The intent is not to provide solely for art classes, although Badger said he is saddened that the arts are afforded so small a space in the educational process. "Education, in general, does not validate creativity," Badger said. Further, he said, "The teachers in public schools are running through a really hard time ... We live in this time of so many cuts (of arts programs)," he said.
Badger said while he understands the demands on school boards to keep down costs he believes educators must understand the importance of arts in education.
"We hope in the long term we can change this misconception that art is non-essential," he said.
Until then, Badger's foundation for his daughters will challenge and validate the work of teachers at under-funded schools who use the language of art and creativity to teach academics.
Teachers are invited to go to Donorschoose.org, with which the LilySarahGrace Fund has partnered, and share their classroom needs whether it's art supplies or tickets to a local theater production including the transportation to and from that event. At Tuesday's meeting, Badger encouraged Norwalk teachers to apply.
"The whole point of this fund is to teach core curriculum, like math, reading and writing in an artistic way; introducing art concepts into reading, writing, math, history, social studies, sciences. For so many kids it's a very valuable tool because not all kids are linear. They see things more visually," said Kathryn Hebert, a member of the Norwalk Arts Commission, which is sponsoring the event. "I personally believe in this type of education ... I think this is a better way for many children to be taught. This fund really helps with that."
She said the arts commission was also pleased to sponsor the benefit because it ties together businesses, entrepreneurs, artists and educators all in one.
"After enduring of such a personal tragedy, to come here and give of yourself and to keep our children as one of your thoughts is truly heart touching," said Jack Chiaramonte, the Norwalk school board chairman.