Studies have shown that students who participate in the arts have higher GPAs, higher standardized test scores, and lower dropout rates.
President, National PTA
The benefits go beyond academics, too — the arts build students’ confidence and teamwork skills, and give them an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and emotions. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the arts are essential to supporting our students’ well-being and academic achievements.
Access to arts
However, many children do not have equal access to arts education, and too often, arts education has been squeezed out of schools. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, students in high poverty schools are more than twice as likely to have no access to the arts.
It is critical that we advocate for investments in arts education at the federal, state, and local levels, so that all students have equitable access to the arts and can experience the important benefits that come from participating in them. Here are five ways you can advocate for change:
- Learn more about the barriers to access to arts education in your community.
- Participate in district and school board meetings and speak about the issue.
- Send emails and letters, and make phone calls to decisionmakers.
- Conduct meetings with decisionmakers or their staff.
- Use social media and work with traditional media outlets to get your message out, garner support, and mobilize.
Also, ask your school district leaders, school board members, and lawmakers these critical questions:
- Does our school district have an arts education plan, and how does the plan ensure that all students have equitable access to the arts?
- What steps are the school and district taking to ensure every child has access to the arts?
If we persistently ensure every child in every school community has equal access to the arts, the impact will be extraordinary! That’s because participation in the arts helps to improve math, reading, critical thinking, and cognitive skills — and helps children learn how to better connect with others and persevere in difficult situations. Together, we can be the voice our children need to make this happen.