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  • Suzanne Ford

National Arts in Education Week is September 10-16


Arts in Education.

Many of us grew up with it, back in the day when it was naturally assumed that exploring, understanding, appreciating and participating in music, drama, dance and the fine arts was unquestionably desirable and indeed necessary for a well rounded education.

Those days are gone. Today exposure to the arts is too often either a happy accident or an "elitist" indulgence.

We need to change that. Why? Because Arts in Education is freaking valuable. It can have a huge impact on the future of our next generation. See the bottom of this article for ways to help NOW.

A few facts from recent studies:

1. An extensive body of correlational data in the United States reveals that students who participate in a large number of arts courses have higher educational attainment levels (as measured by grades in school and scores on verbal and mathematical standardized tests).

2. Exposure to and participation in music, drama and the fine arts strengthen and stimulate IQ, academic performance, and verbal and phonological skills.

3. Students enrolled in arts education courses display a more ambitious attitude to academic work as well as higher levels of commitment and motivation.

According to a recent report by the Rand Corporation called Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts, increased involvement in the arts for all ages results in the following societal benefits:

Convinced? Here are a few easy, quick and effective ways to help take action from Americans for the Arts:

Recently, the Administration proposed drastic cuts to funding for arts-friendly measures.

Sign the petition to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to encourage her to take action in ensuring equitable access to arts education so that every student in America succeeds. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper using a customizable template to tell them how and why the arts matter in education. Take part in the visibility campaign during the week of September 10-16, 2017 by using the hashtag, #BecauseOfArtsEd. People from all walks of life can share their story of the transformative power of the arts in their own education and the impact the arts have had on their work and life. Want to do more?

Help continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund.

It's free and easy to join.


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© 2015 by Suzanne Ford.