Letterto School Board
Letterto School Board
Re:Funding a comprehensive arts education program
Iam a concerned high school student who understands the significanceof the arts program to children from a personal experience. Theelementary and the middle schools play a critical role of introducingchildren into the world of academics and problems that require theuse of critical thinking as well as scholarly skills. I learned thatthe arts are an important tool that improves the kids’ ability toreason, imagine, and find solutions to various challenges in theirown. I am writing to support the idea of funding the proposed programsince, just like you, I would like to see our children succeed.
Ibelieve that our district has an opportunity to invest in an artsprogram that will help our students in elementary and middle schoolssucceed. Pablo Picasso, a renowned French paint, once said, “Everykid is an artist, but the problem is to help them remain the samewhen they grow up” (Herbert, 2013). This statement suggests thatyoung learners have a lot of skills that can be harnessed anddeveloped through the introduction of relevant programs into theformal education system. A recent survey indicated that more than amillion students in American schools lack access to art instructions(Herbert, 2013). The findings of another empirical study showed thatthe total enrollment in these programs has declined by 47 % in thestate of California (California Alliance for Arts Education, n.d.).This deficiency has been associated with a decrease in the level ofcreativity among the affected learners, which has limited theircapacity to find solutions to challenges that they face in the 21stcentury. Our district has an opportunity to avoid this problem byfunding a relevant arts program with your help as a board.
Awell deigned arts program will benefit our children in several ways.First, it will improve the students’ ability to make qualitydecisions, since artists are guided by judgment, instead of rulesthat are commonly used in the formal curriculum. The arts enablelearners to realize that each challenge that they face must have morethan one possible solution. This knowledge prepares them to real lifesituations where their judgments determine the quality of decisionsthat they make.
Secondly,the arts help students to see the world from a broader perspective.The programs enable them to realize that numbers and languages thatare often overemphasized in the formal education system cannot limittheir cognition. Arts give them the opportunity to apply differentmeans (such as images) to communicate and express their minds.According to Eisner (2002) the programs provide students withalternative and creative ways of saying what may not be communicatedusing the traditional means. For example, the arts enable students toexploit their poetic capabilities when they are required to disclosetheir feelings.
Thethird benefit that our children will get from the arts program is anincrease in their capacity to imagine. It will help them think withinand through different materials, which is part of the processes thatenable them to perceive what cannot be seen by eyes. This benefit isassociated with the fact that arts employ some strategies that makeimages become real.
Theconcept of art-based learning has gained popularity and I feel thatwe have its benefits as a district. It involves the application ofartistic processes, skills, and experiences as educational tools.However, the competencies gained in this form of education can beused in other domains and disciplines. Students who have access toart-based learning programs show improvements in the level ofinnovativeness.
Iunderstand that the strategies for and the extent of integration ofthe arts are major challenges that the board is likely to face. Thestakeholders need to collaborate with experts in determining whatkind of artistic techniques that should be included in theinstructions used to deliver the curriculum. An effective integrationcan be achieved by considering art as a co-equal or enhancementcontent. The successful addition of artistic techniques will supportlearning in different ways. The increases in the level of creativity,imagination, and reason, following the integration of arts have beenshown to enhance the students’ test scores and a decline in thedropout as well as truancy rates (CAAE, n.d). These findings confirmthe idea that the program will give our children an opportunity toimprove their competencies that are useful in all subject areas.
Inaddition, the integration of arts will support learning by enablingstudents to become all-rounded. Studies have shown that over 93 % ofthe Americans believe that the inclusion of these programs childrento become critical thinkers (CAAE, n.d). It will also enable them tobecome all-rounded learners.
Asthe district goes ahead with planning as well as the budgetallocation, it is my hope that the board will consider the idea ofincreasing funding for arts educational programs because such adecision will go a long way in preparing students for the lifeexperiences of the 21stcentury. The integration of artistic techniques will improve thelearners’ competency in all subject areas.
Inclosing, I would like to state that I support the increase in fundingthe art educational programs in our district. I believe that all ofus want the best for our elementary and middle schools. We candemonstrate this by giving them an opportunity to enhance theircritical thinking, imagination, and cognitive skills that will enablethem to address the challenges that they face in the real lifesituations.
Incase you need more clarification on the issue addressed herein,kindly contact me via the email address [email protected].
CaliforniaAlliance for Arts Education (n.d.). 10important things to know about arts education in California.Pasadena, CA: California Alliance for Arts Education.
Eisner,E. (2002). Thearts and the creation of mind: What the arts teach and how it shows.New Haven: Yale University Press.
Herbert,D. (2013). Arts education and advocacy: An investment in everychild’s future. U.S.Department of Education.Retrieved January 3, 2017, fromhttps://blog.ed.gov/2013/04/arts-education-and-advocacy-an-investment-in-every-childs-future/