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Art for kids, critical thinking skills, and bridging the gap

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Benefits of Art for Kids

Art for Kids is a difficult concept to imagine without it being an instrumental part of kids’ lives.  We know that art for kids improves analytical thinking, enhances creative minds, heightens collaborative skills, and levels the playing field, bridging the gap of socio economic factors.  Adults have a hard time imagining school without the arts because these subjects were mandatory when we were students.  Socio economic factors have been accepted when a child doesn’t have access to the arts at home because we knew school would expose these at risk youth to the arts.  Or because we are a more diverse society facing daunting demands from global, social, and technological innovation leaving little for the importance of art.Venice kids

The benefits of art education is outlined in the Champions of Change – The Impact of the Arts on Learning (Summary) report that was created by Presidential Executive order in 1982 to encourage private sector support and to increase public appreciation of the value of the arts and the humanities.  Art Plays A Part (formerly SDB1 for the Arts) was founded with our children’s need for the arts in mind so this report has been incredibly influential in our actions. Understanding the numerous benefits that the arts play in the development of a child’s mind leaves me spellbound as the arts are continually being cut from our school curriculum for what…

Art cuts in schools, it makes no sense

optimismWe believe that optimism like being exposed to the arts is crucial to living a successful and rewarding life.  But to be honest with you, it’s difficult to understand or see the bright side of what is happening in our schools.  Katy, an Independent School District located outside of Houston, TX clearly explains the importance of Art Education.  If young Americans are to succeed and to contribute in our “economy of ideas,” they will need an education that encourage thinking out of the box, analytical thinking, and critical thinking. The arts powerfully nurture creative minds to think in this manner. 

Art for kids is equally important bridging the gap between socio economic factors for at risk youth and children from affluent families, please Help Us Reach Our Goals of Funding the Arts in underserved communities.  Our goal has always been to introduce all children to the expression of various arts.  We feel our plan to bridge the gap between the families and children of diverse social groups will enrich both communities leading to significant advantages and acceptance that our youth will all share in the future.  Acceptance, understanding, equality, and collaboration will lead to peace and prosperity on many levels. 

world peace is possible

Positive academic developments for children

Positive academic developments for children engaged in the arts are seen at each step in the research-between 8th and 10th grade as well as between 10th and 12th grade. Critical thinking skills for arts-involved youngsters generally become more pronounced over time. Students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12. Sustained student involvement in theater arts, acting in plays and musicals, drama clubs, and taking acting lessons associates with a variety of developments for youth: gains in reading proficiency, analytical thinking, gains in self concept and motivation, critical thinking skills, and higher levels of empathy and tolerance for others.

Art Plays A Part –  Findings of High Art Schools

Our organization has always had a goal to provide art for kids bridging the gap through short volunteer workshops since January 1st, 2011.  It’s been rewarding to see the children’s creative minds in action whether that was writing and acting out their own short film or using their creative minds to come up with different ideas for their own clothing design.   Recently, we held an art class with homeless children at the Anne Douglas Center for Women on Skid Row in Los Angeles.  It wasHomeless kids love art the first time creating art for several of the kids and considering what type of life this could lead to for an at risk youth without the arts later in public school is sad. 

The finding of the Champions of Change study show that children in arts-rich schools are more likely than children in low-arts schools to have good rapport with their teachers. Results show that teachers in arts-rich schools demonstrate more interest in their work and are more likely to become involved in professional development experiences. They are also more likely to be innovative in their teaching. The data on teacher affiliation show that such teachers tend to have good working relationships with other teachers in their school. In the high-arts settings, we found considerable flexibility in curriculum design, with less emphasis on conformity, formalization, or centralization. Researchers discovered that the results of their study were more firmly tied to rich arts provision than to high economic status.

Art Plays A Part Goals

Thus we have goals to create rewarding partnerships with organizations that will benefit from their students involvement in regular group art classes.  We plan to raise the funds to hire mobile teachers that will work with multiple schools and groups of students regularly throughout the week.  By creating partnerships with caring volunteers, generous donors, and institutions like the Los Angeles Unified School District, we believe we will meet and exceed the challenge of giving our young people the best possible preparation we can offer them.

Please share your thoughts, get involved as a volunteer, or Help Us Fund a Campaign to support our efforts of providing art supplies and teaching resources to underserved communities.

Justin Tranter Shares

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