Art Education Critical to Quality Education

by Carol Kocivar, President California State PTA

After spending most of last week with a 2 ½ year old, I was reminded once again of Picasso’s famous quote about the arts:

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Between naps—mine, not hers—we went to the beach, and to the farmers’ market, and just sat down at the dining room table.  The beach brought the opportunity to draw in the sand.  At the farmers’ market there were guitarists playing between the vegetable stands. She, alone, danced to the music.  And the colored markers at the dining room table –well—I am so glad they were washable.  Who would have known a young child would have mastered sidewalk chalk art? Just visit my front steps to see for yourself.

Research tells us the arts are the way children learn. We see it every day in young children.  Yet, in California, budget cuts have decimated arts programs in schools throughout the state.  California State PTA believes every child should have a high-quality education that includes the arts.  And we are working hard in communities throughout California to support arts education.

1. Reflections Program

This National PTA arts recognition and achievement program encourages student participation in dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

2. SMARTS Parent Academies

This award-winning program is designed to increase parent engagement in education and create parent leaders who will promote a quality and complete education that includes the arts in their schools.

3. Proposition 38

California State PTA helped write a ballot initiative for this November that will provide funding to help restore the arts and other important programs that have been cut from California schools.

Want to help bring the arts back to your school and your community? Join the SMARTS Parents for Arts Network and get timely information on how you can support arts education.

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