PUBLIC BENEFIT

We  use arts as a way to encourage students to stay in school, return to school, and parents continue their education. 

After recent meetings with Arts Education Partners during the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington DC an education liaison gave us a  few facts:

Every school day, about 7,000 students decide to drop out of school – a total of 1.2 million students each year – and only about 70% of entering high school freshman graduate every year.  Without a high school diploma, young people are less likely to succeed in the workforce.  Each year, our nation loses $319 billion in potential earnings associated with the dropout crisis.
Students at risk of dropping out of school can be identified as early as sixth grade by reviewing records of attendance, behavior, and course failure. Research has demonstrated that by making learning environments safe and relevant, better engaging parents and their communities in schools, and helping students get back on-track academically, the dropout rate can be lowered. 
Approximately 2,000 of America’s high schools produce half of the nation’s school dropouts.  President Obama is committed to a strategy for reform in America’s middle and high schools – including bold interventions to drive improvement in America’s lowest performing schools – to help prepare all students to graduate college and career ready.
According to the ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL, AMERICAN FOR THE ARTS, AND NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.:
Music. Music education strengthens IQ (intelligence quotient), academic performance, word decoding and phonological skills and there is preliminary evidence that music education might facilitate foreign language learning. While there are a number of studies showing a positive impact of music education on visual-spatial reasoning, the sole longitudinal study on this question detected no persistent influence after three years of music, which suggests the need for caution. There is also no evidence that music education has any causal impact on mathematics scores, even though mathematicians may be attracted to music. 

Theatre. Strong evidence shows that theatre education in the form of enacting stories in the classroom (classroom drama) strengthens verbal skills, but there is no evidence for a link between theatre training and overall academic skills. 

Visual arts. While there is no evidence that training in visual arts improves overall academic skills or verbal skills (literacy), two new correlational studies reveal that students who study the visual arts are stronger in geometrical reasoning than students who do not study the visual arts. However, causality has yet to be established. And one experimental study found that learning to look closely at works of visual art improves skills in observing scientific images – a typical instance of close skills transfer. 

Dance. Some studies show that instruction in dance improves visual-spatial skills, but such studies are still too few in number to be conclusive. We found no evidence that dance education improves overall academic skills or reading. 

Arts education and skills in thinking and creativity 
Arts education is often viewed by public policy-makers and educators as a means of getting students to enjoy school and motivate them for learning in other academic subjects. Empirical studies show that students enrolled in arts education courses display a more ambitious attitude to academic work as well as higher levels of commitment and motivation.
Finally, there is strong evidence regarding the impact of arts education in its various forms on other behavioural and social skills, such as self-confidence, self-concept, skills in communication and cooperation, empathy, perspective taking and the ability to regulate one’s emotions by expressing rather than suppressing them. Initial evidence concerned with education in dramatic art appears the most promising, with a US Department of Education studies revealing that drama classes enhance empathy, perspective taking, and emotional regulation – plausible findings given the nature of such education. 

Please review this link Evaluation of a theater-based youth violence prevention program for elementary school children regarding how the arts is intricate in violence prevention.  This is the core  a model for our academic plan. Currently we have field trip and out of school time activities. Next year we plan on expanding to engage for a full school day with a school on premise.