Kids need to feel a significant sense of achievement and be acknowledged for it.
Engaging in the arts is one of the best ways I know to achieve this. Participation in the arts gives young people the opportunity to challenge themselves and receive a positive response at the same time. Such experiences do wonders to fuel a child’s faith in the power of dreams.
At Broad View Elementary I have watched many students take a huge step when they get on the stage for the first time, or when they transform a lump of clay into a treasured object.
When they do it, they see immediately that they are capable of pushing beyond the limits of what they thought they could do. As they work on artwork or performance, they learn they are helping bring an artistic creation to life. Recognition for their achievements is a powerful affirmation that their dreams are worth pursuing.
The National Endowment for the Arts released a report in March 2012 showing that among at-risk students, more than twice as many kids with involvement in the arts planned to pursue a professional career (law, medicine, education, or management) as those that had no experience with the arts. To put it simply, the data shows that the arts make kids’ lives better.
It’s clear to me, there is nothing more important than that.
Robert Kennedy said it so well when he said, “There are those who look at things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”
Whether we are parents, educators, or arts instructors there is so much we can do to prepare our children to achieve success in life. We can choose activities that will help young people interact with, stand out, be heard and dream big — for that is what they need to succeed in today’s society.
I wish to thank the Oak Harbor community for their continued support of the art, music and physical education classes funded by the school levy. It has been a privilege to serve this community as an elementary art specialist for 12 years. You never know the impact education will have.