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The Importance Of Art To Education

One of the most important aspects of art shows in the results of extensive studies that have proven that students who participate in the arts score higher on SAT tests regardless of socio-economic status. (1)

The arts instill foundation skills needed for employment, but also for life, skills like reasoning, making decisions, thinking creatively, solving problems and visualizing. (2)

An 11-year study examined youth in low-income neighborhoods and found that those who participated in arts programs were much more likely to be high academic achievers, elected to class office, participate in math and science fairs and win academic awards. (3)

Art programs targeted toward very young children help prevent negative choices later on. Young children who participate in after-school arts programs have shown a decrease in negative behaviors and increases in attention span, commitment and tolerance. (4)

For young people at risk of delinquency, school failure, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and other problems, involvement in the arts can improve academic performance, reduce school truancy, provide positive outlets and build new skills that give kids a chance at a better life. Arts programs are an effective intervention strategy for troubled youth who have failed to respond to more traditional educational and social service programs. Arts learning experiences can alter the attitudes young people have about themselves and toward learning, even among those who have had serious brushes with the law.

A three-year study of arts-based delinquency programs in three different cities showed that at-risk youths participating in the arts programs improved their attitudes, behavior and academic performance, decreased delinquent behavior, and increased communication skills. (5)

Former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno said much the same thing, "Young people who are involved in making something beautiful today are less likely to turn to acts of violence and destruction tomorrow." We all need to support the arts. In doing so, we are telling America's youth that we believe in them and value what they can be."

Terry Semel, past chairman of Warner Bros., said, "Art is central to a civilized society. Kids who create don't destroy."

Footnotes

(1) Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, Arts Education Partnership, President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 1999.
(2) Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, U.S. Dept. of Labor, 1991
(3) Community Counts: How Youth Organizations Matter for Youth Development, Shirley Brice Heath, Milbrey W. McLaughlin, 2000
(4) Youth ARTS Development Project, U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, 1996-199
(5) The Arts and Prosocial Impact Study, RAND, 1999

Kids Art

For many years the ARV Arts Center has partnered with Russellville Public Schools to bring Kids-At-Art to all 4th and 5th grade students in the district. Much to our delight, the 2005-06 school year brought a change in this program because the District hired five art teachers and began teaching weekly art classes to all elementary grade levels.

Kids-At-Art is a valuable series of nine structured art / academic sessions. Experienced instructors are available to teach in public / private schools, day care or after school programs or home schooled students.


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