A recent report from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) suggests that arts education can help narrow the achievement gap that exists between low-income students and their more advantaged peers. But new data from the federal government suggests that low-income students are less likely to have access to arts education than their higher-income peers.
This is both good and bad news, it has been proven time and time again that children who have access to Arts Education are more likely to attend college, do better in high school and have a higher sense of self and purpose as they navigate in the world. So why is it that law makers are not making funds available for children to gain access to the Arts? Certainly arts education is important for its own sake. But in a time of tough budget choices, arts education advocates must speak to its tangible benefits, which the NEA report clearly does. By nearly every indicator studied, a student from a low-socioeconomic (SES) background with a high-arts educational experience significantly outperformed peers from a low-arts, low-SES background, closing (and in some cases eliminating) the gap that often appears between low-SES students and their more advantaged peers.
How can the average American help? If you are a parent of a school aged child speak to your principal about the need for your child to be involved in a program such as TCC. Encourage them to speak to their boards and the local city council. We can all make a difference.
We can all make The Arts Apart of our children’s experience.