Because Our Children's Lives Matter ...
I have long been an advocate for the arts in our educational system, whether public or private. Art education influences our children's lives ... now and forever. I am frustrated when I see the arts put on the back burner. The notion that art is an elective indicates that it is not as important as other areas in our children's education. When budget cuts are made, we are aware that it is art education that goes first.
More and more students are being educated at home. I will give you my biggest tip: integrate art into every subject. What do children need more of? Art. Is your student having trouble in math? What does he need more of? Art. Is your child experiencing social anxiety? Art helps. Is writing hard for your child? Bring out the art! A struggling reader? Art and literature to the rescue!
The Pandemic has made us more aware of changes that need to be made in our education system. It is critical that we put our children's needs ahead of everything else. When basic needs are not met children can not and will not learn. What are those basic needs? Of course, we immediately think of food, shelter, security. It is a fact, however, without their developmental needs (emotional and psychological) being met, learning will not occur.
When I speak of art education, I am not speaking of cookie-cutter crafts. Many parents today think by enrolling their child in an online craft class, they can check art off the list. I want to stress the benefits of basic art education and what that may look like. Drawing skills are developed by learning the basics of line and by systematic practice. These skills help create a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of balance within the child. I speak from many years of experience, and my most immense joy is watching my students' faces as they create. I often tell them I think it would be a better world if we all drew more!
My quick checklist of the many benefits of art education:
Improved observational skills, focus, confidence, hand to eye coordination, social and emotional skills, problem-solving skills, personal awareness, critical thinking, communication skills, thought processes, and last but certainly not least, appreciation of beauty.
This list is just the beginning. I have so many stories I have observed through my years of sharing art with children!
Art is often called the universal language. It connects us and brings us together. Through art, we can express our deepest feelings. I believe in process-based visual literacy for our children.
Why art now? Because our children's lives matter. It is time to invest in our children's futures by putting their needs ahead of all else. Art Education is an investment in every child's future. Now.
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."