A child's early engagement in singing, music, art activities,
storytelling, and movement has even more significance because
these experiences can help create unique brain connections that
will have long term impact on that youngster's life. (Arts
Ten general lessons the arts teach children.
- to make good judgments about qualitative relationships
- that problems can have more than one solution
- to celebrate multiple perspectives
- that in complex forms of problem solving, purposes are seldom
fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity.
- that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust
what we can know.
- that small differences can have large effects
- to think through and within a material.
- constructive ways to say what cannot be said
- that the arts offer experience we can have from no other source
- that the arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes
to the young what adults believe is important. Source: "Learning
and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries," 2000
- 6th grade students who attended schools in which the arts were
integrated with classroom curriculum outperformed their peers
in reading who did not have an arts-integrated curriculum. Source: Champions of Change, 1999
- Students involved in after-school activities at arts organizations
showed greater use of complex language than their peers in activities
through community-service or sports organizations. Linguistic
anthropologists found that "generalized patterns emerged
among youth participating in after-school arts groups: a five-fold
increase in use of if-then statements, scenario building followed
by what-if questions, and how-about prompts, more than a two-fold
increase in use of mental state verbs (consider, understand, etc.),
a doubling in the number of modal verbs (could, might, etc.) Source:
Champions of Change, 1999, p.27
- Reading for fun has a positive relationship
to performance on The National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) reading scores. The 87% of students who reported reading
for fun on their own time once a month or more performed at the
proficient level, while students who never or hardly read for
fun performed at the Basic level. Students who read for fun everyday
scored the highest.
Source: National Center
for Family Literacy
- Boys and girls in after school programs
are half as likely to drop out of school and two and one half
times more likely to go on to further education after high school.
Source: Center for the Study
and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado
School Program Statistics
Research by the Center for the Study
and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado confirms
the importance of quality after-school in keeping kids safe and
out of trouble. A 1999 study of randomly selected high school freshmen
from low-income households compared participants in the Quantum
Opportunities after-school enrichment and incentives program to
non-participants. The outcomes showed:
- Boys left out of the program were
six times more likely to be convicted of a crime.
- Boys and girls left out were 50%
more likely to have children during their high school years.
- Boys and girls in the program were
half as likely to drop out of school and two and one half times
more likely to go on to further education after high school.
The report also projects the long-range
impact of these programs goes far beyond the teenage years.
"If we can provide the quality after-school
programs and other constructive supports that help youngsters make
it through this period without becoming involved in crime, chances
are good that they will stay out of serious trouble the rest of
their lives," explains Sanford A. Newman, J.D., President of Fight
Crime: Invest in Kids. "Thus, after-school programs ultimately reduce
not only juvenile crime but adult crime as well."
Recognizing both the social and economic
implications of reducing youth crime, the federal government and
a few states have moved to increase funding for after-school programs,
but there is a tremendous need for even more services. "If we fail
to expand these investments," the report concludes, "we will pay
far more later in crime, welfare and other costs." Fight Crime:
Invest in Kids, a national, bipartisan anti-crime organization made
up of more than 1,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and
experts on youth violence.