Art, Music, Dance, Drama. None of these subjects are tested by the TAKS. Often, students who have failed TAKS, or are at risk of failing TAKS, are removed from their art classes to attend TAKS prep courses. When budget cuts hit schools these are the first classes to be hit.
What message are we sending to our students? These subjects are less important. These subjects are not necessary to achieve success.
Did you know that children who study the arts are…
4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or a poem
(Source: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices)
Research on the brain continues to show a strong link between art education and brain development. Early studies are showing that children who study the arts daily score better in other subject areas.
Emotional literacy is another important aspect of growing up. Understanding and controlling your own emotions and how your actions affect others are crucial to success in life. Regardless of education, the most successful CEO’s in the nation are people who work well with others, and can control their own emotions. Studies show that participating in theater is a natural way to learn emotional literacy.
Theatre Action Project is trying to bridge this gap by providing arts education that supports emotional literacy. TAP’s daily after school programming uses theatre and art-based curricula to explore social issues, build self-esteem, and enrich students’ academic experience in the school system. TAP also provides 5 day residency programs within the classroom, activating students in grades K-12 to discover and practice solutions to the problems they face every day. These programs are specifically designed to help students deal with challenges in their daily lives. AN,d the great thing is, TAP does it through art and theatre so it’s fun and youth enjoy it.
Despite all the studies and research mentioned above the arts are still being cut from our students schedules. As parents what can we do?
* Talk to your school to find out what options are available for after school and community art programs. Enroll your children.
* Contact Theatre Action Project to determine steps needed to bring a program to your school. Check out TAP programs at: http://www.theatreactionproject.org
* Encourage your children to express themselves through art. Discuss their art with them. Display their art prominently. Share their work with others.
* Make art supplies available for your children.
Until next time,
Julie (Parent/Teacher/Child advocate/TAP Volunteer)