Arts education in the news
By Anne on April 5th, 2012
This week, thanks to some interesting reports from the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, arts education has found its way into the news again. The first report from NEA highlights the great benefits that participation in the arts has for at-risk youth. As reported by the Miller-McCune the researchers of the report say:
“At-risk teenagers or young adults with a history of intensive arts experiences show achievement levels closer to, and in some cases exceeding, the levels shown by the general population studied. These findings suggest that in-school or extracurricular programs offering deep arts involvement may help to narrow the gap in achievement levels among youth.”
What wonderful news! To know that while the arts are helping students express their creativity and learn more about themselves, participating is also a step in narrowing the achievement gap. Plus, on an anecdotal note, I’ve heard from teachers that sometimes the arts can be the driver that helps brings students to school that day. But in a sad contrast, the DOE’s report shows that the schools that serve these students are losing their arts programs. And as reported by the StarTribune, experts only see that continuing. In the same article, I really enjoyed this quote:
“You hear students say, `I found out who I was because I was able to explore my identity in the visual arts,’” said Bob Sabol, president of the National Art Education Association. “It validates who they are as individuals.”
That’s a sentiment we agree on and why we have so passionately supported the arts through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. In so many cases, that program is the first time a student is recognized for their creative talent and voice. It empowers them to continue in that direction. We recently announced the 2012 medalists and in an interview with Newsday in New York, Gold Portfolio winner Chelsea Borsack was quoted:
“A lot of people think I’d be very excited about the money or the award or the title,” she said. “It’s more about how it’s given me a validation of my work and proven to me that someone else is recognizing it on this level, it’s really going to push me to pursue it.”
LOVE IT! It is moments like these, and student like Chelsea, that need to be true reminders that we cannot lose the arts for today’s students. While we continue to figure out how to keep the arts alive in the classroom, remember you can still search out programs like the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to help that artistic student in your world keep motivated in their talent.
Are the arts in your schools? Do you seek out arts programs beyond the classroom?
Photo via Lee Fenner
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