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Arts Programs Are An Important Component For A Child's Growth And Achievement

Author : Stephen Daniels

The tradition of measuring a child's growth by successive marks on a wall only speaks to one aspect of that child - physical development. Access to arts programs, whether school-based or at an art camp, contribute to other, less tangible benchmarks - spatial, computational and emotional skills.

Economic times have been tough for some time now, and although the No Child Left Behind Act specified arts studies as one of 10 core academic subjects, art, music and dance still are not tested, and therefore not measured; making them easy targets when school district budgets are sliced.

Perhaps in response to the demand created by these cuts, summer art camps offer an array of options. Whether they are fee-for-service classes through local school districts, or a private acting camp on a large compound, parents can help guide their children along various pathways to artistic expression.

So, are arts programs really important to a well-rounded education? Recent statistics have shown that within a couple of years, schools that have cut these courses experience increased vandalism and other disruptive behavior. The number of disciplinary staff required to quell these uprisings takes resources away from the core curriculum and actually results in lower test scores. It has also been shown that everyone needs a point in their life where they feel they excel, or are at least competitive in some capacity. Children who are neither the highest scholastic achievers nor the most outstanding athletes might excel in music and dance or come out of their shell through drama.

There are other studies that show that students enrolled in arts classes score 44 points higher in math than those who are not. Music studies improve spatial reasoning, essential for advanced math, science and engineering.

It is also important to remember that every student learns differently. A child who stumbles in reading may find that manipulating objects in art class or learning how to move through space by dancing helps with the rest of the school day.

Sometimes a concept that does not get through with words or numbers can be communicated through movement, sounds, images or objects. Interestingly enough, these are the channels traveled through in arts programs.

Participation in the arts is of value all year, so the role of a summer camp takes on more importance. A child who is more interested in putting on shows in the family room than playing baseball can enroll in local acting camps affiliated with theatre groups. He might even discover one of his instructors is a professional actor. The next dance star might be very happy busting a move at dance camp with other like-minded campers.

Meanwhile, back at school, some PTAs have instituted art appreciation programs in which volunteers participate in artistic ventures with the students in the classroom. This enhances students' cultural literacy, while also exercising key mental muscles.

The famous tag line "A great nation deserves great art" is familiar to public television viewers. Turning those viewers' children into great art students is a fabulous first step.

Author's Resource Box

Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed
Netbiz SEO 2.0
researcher. He highly recommends Belvoir Terrace to parents looking for a creative arts camp for their budding rock star daughter. Belvoir Terrace has offered specialized theater, dance, art and music programs to girls grade 3 through 10 since it opened in 1954.

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Tags:   acting camp, art camp, arts programs

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Submitted : 2010-10-03    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 346