Here at Executive Education Academy Charter School in Allentown, we encourage our students to get involved, especially in arts education. Simply walk down our halls and you’ll catch a glimpse of some of our students’ murals or hear the sounds of our elementary schoolers rehearsing for their big concert.
From the drama club and choir to the art club and journalism, students have every opportunity to cover their hands in paint, sing at the top of their lungs, perform on stage, and find their words.
Why do we encourage the arts here at EEACS? We’ll give you three reasons.
Our Students Become More Empathetic and Engaged.
Research shows that an arts education exposes students to different cultures and new ideas. They become aware of different kinds of people and different types of places through plays, songs, and paintings.
Think of how learning about paintings by artists like Frida Kahlo or Diego Rivera teaches students about Mexican culture, or about how reading plays by William Shakespeare helps students understand racism, gender, and human emotions like jealousy, ambition, and love.
Because students are exposed to new cultures, new people, and new environments through the arts, research shows that they become more active in their own communities. The National Endowment for the Arts points out that middle schoolers who participate in the arts are 73% more likely to read the newspaper, 47% more likely to volunteer, and 45% more likely to vote in the future.
Our Students Perform Better in the Classroom.
It’s been said time and time again that students who participate in arts education programs do better academically than students who do not have the opportunity to participate in the arts. This is because the arts give students a new way to problem solve and a new way to think. The arts teach them about practice, collaboration, and creative thinking to solve complex problems.
These skills transfer well outside of the art studio or choir room. Students who participate in the arts are four times more likely to win academic awards in science, math, and writing. About 74% of students in middle school who study the arts plan to go to college. Meanwhile, students with experience in the arts are 15% more likely to apply to a four-year college than those with no background in the arts.
Our Students Are More Independent and More Confident
When you combine more engagement with better classroom performance, you get a student who is more independent in their learning and more confident in their abilities and choices.
For some students, the arts give them a way of expressing themselves they may not have otherwise had. This leads to them participating in more student activities throughout the school.
More confident students also have larger aspirations for the future. Research shows that students aspire for careers like medicine or education or even law. When there are no limits put on their imagination, there are no limits put on their possibilities.