Art Year Round

MaryAnn Kohl, author of over 20 art books for teachers and children including, “Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff,” discusses why art is an important part in the lives of children provides several suggestions to parents on how to include art in their child’s life at home.  This post is originally found here by Janine Boldrin.

Why is it important for parents to include art based activities in their child’s life?

In raising a well-rounded child, the arts should be included along with reading, playing actively, eating well, and learning new things. Early exposure to visual art, music, or drama promotes activity in the brain; like exercising a muscle, it will be stronger and more able to handle hard work. Art encourages being inventive and being a critical thinker and adds to development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation.

What suggestions do you have for parents who are stuck at coloring pages and Playdough?

Art is a creative process, not a pre-planned product. Picture this: A child is given cotton balls, glue, scraps of paper, and a paper plate. These materials become part of a creative experiment for a child as they manipulate and explore the possibilities of a simple collage. There is no planned design or product. There is no right or wrong way for art to turn out; there is only the child’s way. And of course, the adult is important in helping find materials that the child can use.

While many families have crayons, paints, and paper in their home, what would you suggest as far as supplies that parents should consider exploring with their child?

Found materials are always treasures for collage, like buttons, beads, thread, pebbles, cotton balls, and on and on; look around the kitchen and garage and you’ll be surprised what you find! Kids love sticking things into a block of packing Styrofoam, such as bamboo skewers, golf tees, or pipe cleaners. But a reminder: always use quality crayons, markers, scissors and glue for the best art experiences.

What do you recommend to parents who are worried about turning art into another scheduled activity for their child?

Art in the home should be as natural as the activity of sitting and reading a book or playing a board game. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or demanding or messy. Making art an easily accessible quiet activity for children to perform at their leisure and will balance the busy schedules some families keep.

Janine Boldrin is a freelance writer who lives in West Point, N.Y with her family

 

Shelby County Schools Arts Infusion Project

Shelby County Schools of Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County Schools in Memphis, TN is currently working with a U.S. Department of Education grant to infuse music and visual arts into the classrooms of ten elementary and middle schools. The SCS Arts Infusion Project provides professional development in the arts, supplies and materials and arts experiences to its member schools. The project also facilitates strong ties with arts organizations across the Mid-South region. For more information on the Shelby County Schools Arts Infusion Project, please visit: http://scsaip.weebly.com

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It is officially ARTS IN EDUCATION WEEK!

On July 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating the second week of September as “Arts in Education Week.”  The resolution (H.Con.Res. 275) was proposed and introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier from California.

The resolution states: […] Arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.


Click here to read the full resolution.

Congress designated Arts in Education Week to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college and career-ready students. You can read statements made by congressmen on the House floor regarding arts education here.

Get Involved!

FIND OUT what is happening in your state.

What are the policies for including arts in education in your state? Visit the AEP Arts Education State Policy Database. This searchable database contains the latest information on arts education state policies and practices. Since 1999, AEP has gathered these data through an annual survey of arts education personnel in state education agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Check out what is happening in Memphis:

Shelby County Schools of Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County Schools in Memphis, TN is currently working with a U.S. Department of Education grant to infuse music and visual arts into the classrooms of ten elementary and middle schools. The SCS Arts Infusion Project provides professional development in the arts, supplies and materials and arts experiences to its member schools. The project also facilitates strong ties with arts organizations across the Mid-South region. For more information on the Shelby County Schools Arts Infusion Project, please visit: http://scsaip.weebly.com

Advocate for the Arts

Take Action Federal: Tell Congress to Support Arts in Education
$53 Million Requested for FY 2011

There are two priority areas for arts education advocacy at the federal level: strengthening the arts in the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (most recently called the No Child Left Behind Act), and increasing funding for the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education.

U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education programs support the development of models for K-12 arts education, professional development for arts educators, the national activities of the Kennedy Center, and VSA arts, which serves artists with disabilities.

Congress has a record of supporting the Arts in Education programs, despite their elimination in the past administration budget proposals. While President Obama’s FY10 budget included funding for this program for the first time in eight years, his recent FY11 proposal recommends consolidating the federal program into a new category with six other non-arts programs.

Please take a few minutes to write to your elected officials and ask them to support strengthening arts education in federal policy, a funding level of $53 million for FY 2011 and voicing your concerns about diminishing the role of the arts in learning.

via Advocate for the Arts.