School has officially started, and with it, a slew of new after-school activities. There are so many options, from football, soccer, gymnastics, cheer…

But what about art?

Many studies have been done over the years on the benefits on the arts for students. The specific results have varied but all of them to come to a similar conclusion in the end: participating in the arts is highly beneficial for children.

Let’s count the reasons why!

A lot of the studies have shown that students participating in some sort of arts program–whether it’s fine arts, theater, dance, or music–perform better in school. For the most part, they have higher graduation rates and higher grades.

One particular study, taking place over the course of 11-years, focused on at-risk children participating in arts programs. Those who did participate were much more likely to stay in school. They were also more likely to participate in outside activities, win awards, and generally achieve greater academic success than the children who did not participate in arts programs.

Art not only engages children and improves their performance in school, but also helps them to develop important skills they will need as they grow. For example, it hones creativity, which in turn helps with problem solving. An adult who is able to come up with creative solutions has an advantage over an adult who sticks to tried and true methods; this starts in childhood.

Something as basic as coloring in a coloring book, where a child has to focus on staying in the lines, or something more complicated, like learning to read music, helps children to become more detail oriented. It also fosters critical thinking; being able to look at a creation and judge whether it’s finished, whether it needs fixing, how to fix it–also an important skill for later in life.

In a world that keeps getting busier and busier, the arts also allow children to have a creative outlet, thus relieving stress (especially if the chosen genre involves movement and exercise, like theater or dance). Having a form of creative outlet also gives them a coping mechanisms for whatever life throws at them, whether in childhood or adulthood. Being able to express oneself  through art has helped many a person get through difficult times in their lives.

Art engages children. It motivates them to do more, try harder. And children enjoy art, so not only are they learning and improving, but they’re also having fun doing it.

And, does it need to be said? It gets those kids away from their devices, if only for an hour at a time.

Want to know more? Our Founder/Director/Resident Awesome, Judy Richardson, recently did an interview with ATX Woman about bringing theater and dance to underprivileged kids. We’d love for you to check it out!

And tune in to this blog next week, when we explore the different types of art and the specific benefits of each to our kiddos.

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