Oodles of research reveals just how important arts education is when it comes to developing young minds. According to Americans for the Arts, young people who participate in the arts are many times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to be elected to class office within their schools, and are more likely to participate in a math and science fair. My mother was an art educator, so I’m particularly disappointed in how a lack of prioritization, the so-called No Child Left Behind law and other factors have driven the arts out of public schools.
Over the last three years I’ve spotlighted dozens of school-based arts projects here on MAN. You’ve donated over $6,600 to help thousands of students have art as a part of their elementary, middle school and high school education. The DonorsChoose.org concept is simple: When school teachers have programs they want to implement that go beyond what their (typically disadvantaged) schools will support, they post ‘proposals’ to the DonorsChoose.org website and ask microphilanthropists for a few hundred dollars in direct project support.
Between now and Jan. 3 I’ll be posting on arts-related projects from DonorsChoose. Most of them will require less than $500 to fully fund. DonorsChoose accepts microphilanthropic gifts of $10 and up. Please support worthy projects either as individuals or as a group. I’ll list donors early in January. If you put a little at-your-office group together — say the ‘Walker Art Center curatorial department’ — email me so that I know to list you as such. I’ve started a web page where you can see a list of proposals, where you can donate and where you can track our progress.
I am the art teacher for grades pre-k through the fifth grade in a high-need urban school. I work with students that have learning disabilities, children who come from homes where English is not the primary language, as well as gifted students.
Our school has a diverse ethnic population, with many students who come from homes where English is not the primary language. In addition to this we have collaborative team teaching classes on each grade where students with special needs are in the same class as general education students along with two teachers.
We take pride in the fact that despite so many budget cuts, the arts have remained a priority in our school. We strive to find ways to improve our arts program, help it grow and look for creative ways to fund it.
My Project: As so many of us recognize, the arts provide many special learning opportunities. For our many students who are struggling in other areas and/or do not speak English, the art room provides them with a place where they can succeed and feel good about themselves. The arts also provide enrichment, encourages collaboration and critical thinking.
The art history books, prints and slides I am requesting will provide me with the resources I need to enhance my current art program and meet the many needs of my students. It is my goal to bring my students an awareness and appreciation of art history while making connections to other subject areas.
Your donation will provide me with the materials needed to help our English as a second language learners develop language, motivate our struggling students, offer enrichment, build self-esteem and inspire all our students to be life-long learners!
Click here to give! (And please tell a friend via Facebook or Twitter!)