~ Neve Spicer
Ready to sing, dance, and make merry?
But here’s the thing: while it’s a time for joy, there is also a serious side to this event. In particular, to raise awareness of how perilously close Arts Education is to cliff edge.
Educational institutions around the globe are feeling the pinch. As budgets dwindle, the first thing to be put on the chopping block is often music, art, dance, and drama. The sad truth is that many children are not going to experience any of these while at school. Instead, they are doubling down up on academic subjects, like math, english, and science.
Of course, academic lessons are important, but it’s vital that our children partake in a rich, vibrant, and diverse education that combines academia with creativity and self-expression.
Studies have shown that when kids are immersed in learning arts, they cultivate cognitive abilities, nurture positive character traits, and foster critical thinking. More than that, they often develop lifelong passions, grow in confidence, and gain a stronger sense of self-identity.
51 Beautiful, Life-Transforming Effects that Arts Education has on our Kids:
Learn more about the benefits of Arts Education for children at We The Parents.
What can you do to support arts education?
- Join the social media campaign on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube by using #BecauseOfArtsEd. Share how YOU have been impacted and changed by study of arts in school.
- Raise local awareness by sending an op-ed to your local newspaper about the value of the arts in education.
- Celebrate local events around the country. Don’t see one in your town? Download the 5 Ways to Partner Packet.
- Tell decision makers in your area about the transformative power of the arts using our tools. Talk to your principal, school board, PTO/PTA, local and state representatives. Sign this petition to increase funding of the arts in school.
- Take this “encourage creativity” quiz, and post your results on social media to raise awareness!
Inform yourself (and others!) with this mini-documentary about 3 ordinary children with an extraordinary commitment who demonstrate the power of art in their everyday lives. Ian (10 yrs old) suffers attention and learning challenges so he uses art to quell anxiety before gymnastics competitions and focus before big tests. Jordyn (8 yrs old) used dance and music to put an end to being bullied at school, make new friends, and deal with the feelings that come with growing up. Andrew (14 yrs old) is home-schooled, a Tae Kwon Do black belt, and has a composer fellowship with LA Philharmonic. In addition to the students, various educators discuss the profound impact the arts have on young people, from engagement to graduation, and employment to self-expression.
Arts transform lives. Surely, we must preserve their rightful place at the heart of our children’s education. With that in mind, let’s unite during Arts in Education Week and sing our support.
Neve is an oboist, music tutor, and proud mother of two. She also blogs at WeTheParents.org where she searches for humor, meaning, and creativity in parenting.