Learning, and the benefits of learning, can take on many different faces. While traditional academics certainly have their merit, the time kids spend thinking outside the box is developmentally important to them. It's no longer just a matter of opinion -- numerous studies have determined that studying visual art, theater, and music offers many opportunities for positive educational outcomes.
This is hard-hitting information in the face of budget and time cuts that, in many areas, have whittled arts education down to a nub. Class sizes are large, periods are short, and supplies are hard to come by, with teachers often left holding the bag for the cost of supplies.
In response to these growing deficits, National Arts in Education Week was born. The campaign originated from a house resolution passed by Congress in 2010, which sets aside the second week of each September to celebrate the benefits of art study and advocate for its place in our classrooms.
The event is spearheaded by Americans for the Arts, and their website contains all the information that parents, teachers, and students will need to get involved. Both local and virtual events will be taking place in some jurisdictions, and a helpful media kit contains both information on forming official partner events and gateways to both local and federal arts education advocacy opportunities.
Talking points are provided, but here are some arts education benefits that resonate:
- Coordination can be improved through the study of art, including hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills. Visual and spatial reasoning, skills often associated with careers in STEM, are also boosted by hands-on arts education.
- Children who study theater arts may be at a distinct advantage in language arts classes, as time in drama education is associated with improved size and use of vocabulary, comprehension of read stories, and creative writing skills.
- Personal and social skills are also honed during arts education, such as collaborating in a group, actively participating, resolving conflict, and using empathy and tolerance when engaging with peers.
To get involved in your community, visit the National Arts in Education Week hub. And if you would like to improving art skills using digital tools, try out NUITEQ Snowflake Lesson Activities by clicking the button below.