Arts education has been shown to be crucial to student success, but lack of funding means some schools are forgoing these classes altogether.
What parent doesn’t treasure their child’s first finger paintings or macaroni masterpieces? These pieces of art are more than just refrigerator décor, they’re evidence of their progress in developing fine motor skills and a window into the way your child sees the world.
Participating in the arts enables children to explore their creative talents and express their thoughts, feelings and ideas. It also builds their confidence, teamwork and sense of accomplishment, which, in turn, helps with academic achievement and social emotional development.
Despite all the advantages, many children do not have access to arts education, and too often, arts education is squeezed out of schools. 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.
Research shows that students with few to no arts credits were five times less likely to have graduated from high school and were also less likely to pursue a bachelor’s degree. These trends indicate that arts education is an important component to a well-rounded education.
Because of the critical importance of arts education for all students, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2010 to designate the second week of September as National Arts in Education Week. During this time, arts educators join to demonstrate the positive impact these courses have on students.
National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) participates in National Arts in Education Week and advocates for access to arts education for all students. The Reflections program, for example, provides all students with the opportunity to participate in the arts and encourages them to explore their talents and express their ideas by creating works of art for fun and recognition.
We do good for our children when we give them the ability to create. Studies have shown that access to the arts is linked to improved math, reading, critical thinking and cognitive skills, and it helps children learn how to better connect with others and persevere in difficult situations.
With arts education, students become better prepared for the future no matter what path they choose to take.