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It is no surprise that there is a strong connection between the arts and academic achievement. However, with so many cutbacks in our school systems and the pressures of raising test scores, art is always the first to go. This is so frustrating to me.

Although my daughter is not enrolled in school yet, it is still daunting for me to hear that our school systems have to cut such important programming. An article written by Edutopia talks why art education is so crucial. “Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skills. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many children behind–from Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum–the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not.”

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“Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,” says Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.

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After reading this article, I wondered how many children out there, especially those living in low-income areas, do not have access to enriching art programs. It’s totally unacceptable to me. As parents, I think we need to take matters in our hands. If our schools aren’t providing what they need, then we need to find other resources for our children to gain access to ensure that they are exposed to the arts. It is absolutely crucial to their development. I make a point to always incorporate art in my daughter’s daily activities. Rather we paint, play with clay, dance, sing etc.  I see it firsthand how art has had a positive influence on her development. Secondly, we need to also put pressure on our school systems as we are in trusting our children’s well-being in their hands. Silence is no longer an option.

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