Squeezing Art into the Sacramento Schools

As the Sacramento schools struggle to manage funds for federally mandated testing programs, and to divide those funds among several areas in need of the money, it’s no surprise that arts programs have lost out in recent years. Without pointing to specific winners and losers, it’s safe to say that all children in the Sacramento public schools are getting less arts education than they deserve. Is an arts component really necessary?
There are definitely those who feel that the current problems in our country require a focus on academics like the traditional three “R”s of reading, writing and arithmetic. Not only is this the wrong approach- it’s outdated and harmful.
How Arts Impact Children in the Sacramento Schools
Art, music, poetry, creative writing, dancing, and playing an instrument are just some of the possibilities that children in current Sacramento schools are less likely to enjoy than children a couple of decades ago. Numerous studies point to the benefits that an art or music background can have on a child’s math or language development.  Even without the science to back it up, teachers in the Sacramento schools point to the benefits of using artistic approaches for teaching everything from literature to matter.
Due to the heavy emphasis on preparing students for mandatory testing, teachers have less ability than ever before to use the methods they think are most beneficial for Sacramento schools’ children. With the amount of children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD (whether the diagnoses are correct or not) a teacher’s ability to tap into a child’s interests is critical. Children who are allowed to cultivate interests like painting or to develop skills like playing the piano are able to use those skills over the rest of their lives.
Why Sacramento Schools Need More Arts Today Than Ever Before
Offering a child multiple areas in which to succeed is a key to increasing the number of happy and well-educated Sacramento schools’ students. Emotionally, the knowledge that you are good at something can go a long way to building the confidence a student needs to succeed not just in the Sacramento schools, but in life. Academically, an understanding of art and music can build bridges to understanding other subjects.
One way teachers do this is by using songs to teach lessons to elementary students in the Sacramento schools. Another is by doing co-ordination exercises that have been proven to contribute to brain development in either music or physical education classes. Integrating art into all other subject makes learning fun, and helps students retain that knowledge. Older students can use related artistic skills like color and pattern usage to learn about math and science. The emotional escape offered to teenagers from having a musical or artistic hobby can also go a long way to keeping them out of trouble. In the end, all students in the Sacramento schools benefits from every exposure to the arts that we can give them.

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