Rallying Behind Arts Education

by Staff & Contributors

Learning about the arts in school is a natural fit for kids, who have been shown by study to do better in school and feel more positively when periods of book learning are interspersed with hands-on creativity and free-thinking. However, when school budgets shrink, arts education is often the first department to take a hit.

This doesn’t sit well with parents and advocates, who are joining to raise awareness this September 13-17 for National Arts in Education Week. The seven-day campaign is intended to celebrate the powerful role arts education can play in the classroom, while encouraging educators, parents, students, and other advocates to get involved in the cause and learn about ways they can support arts ed on the local and federal levels.

The list of ways arts education can impact kids is as long as it is positive.

Some key points:

  • Children who are struggling academically may see benefits from arts education, which is linked to higher rates of academic recognition, greater visual and spatial reasoning, and increased cognitive skills and critical thinking abilities. It’s also correlated with emotional regulation, which helps to mitigate behavioral problems, as well as better class attendance and a greater likelihood of pursuing further education.
  • Those struggling with coordination may find success through practice, as art classes are linked with motor skill development, hand-eye skills, and improved confidence and competence when trying new tools.
  • Studying the arts naturally encourages children to collaborate and participate with one another, facilitating the understanding of new world views, encouraging the use of empathy, and helping children learn the use of tolerance when communicating with others.
  • On a personal level, children may reap increased feelings of well-being and positivity from time spent in art class. They may also experience higher self esteem and be more likely to use personal reflection after a challenging situation or interaction.

It’s not hard to see why art in the classroom is a cause advocates are rallying behind. To learn more about events in your community, visit the campaign online at Americans for the Arts.

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