Monday, November 30, 2009


Smarts Logo

from the California State PTA SMARTS Newsletter for Novemeber: pass it on! your children getting enough arts?

Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit that works to advance the arts in this country, tells us that arts are enriched with the stuff children need to succeed. Just as children need to have good nutrition on a daily basis, they also need daily servings of the arts. Studies have shown that involvement in the arts helps children increase test scores and promotes academic achievement in all subject areas.

Here are 10 Simple Ways that you can add more arts to your children's days, courtesy of the Americans for the Arts.

Ten Simple Ways Parents Can Get More Art in Their Kids’ Lives
  1. Enjoy the arts together. Sing, play music, read a book, dance, or draw with your child at home.
  2. Encourage your child to participate in the arts and celebrate their participation in or out of school.
  3. Explore your community’s library and read “the classics” together—from Mother Goose to Walt Whitman.
  4. Read your local newspaper to find out about attending local arts events like museum exhibits, local plays, festivals, or outdoor concerts.
  5. Tell your child’s teacher, principal, and school leadership that the arts are vital to your child’s success and an important part of a quality education. Find out if your school has sufficient resources for arts education, including qualified teachers and materials. If not, offer to help.
  6. Contact your local arts organizations to inquire about the arts education programs they offer either during school hours or after school. Volunteer to donate time, supplies, or help with their advocacy efforts and connect these services to your child’s school.
  7. Attend a school board or PTA meeting and voice your support for the arts to show them you care and make sure the arts are adequately funded as part of the core curriculum in the school budget.
  8. Explore your child’s dream to sing, to dance, to draw, to act—and encourage them to become the best they can be through the arts.
  9. Be an arts supporter!  Contact your elected officials—lawmakers and school board members—to ask them for more arts education funding from the local, state, and federal levels. Visit our Online Resource Center.
  10. Sign up to become an activist on the Americans for the Arts website, just a click away! Through our e-activist list, you will get news updates and alerts about arts education. Visit our E-Advocacy Center.

To view the Ten Simple Ways in Spanish, visit 10 Formas Sencillas.

Online Learning Community

The Choral Arts Society of Washington has launched an online expansion of its K-12 music education program, the FREE Choral Arts

Online Learning Community. The Community is free to any teacher or learner who wishes to join and has lesson plans, study guides, and other resources.


Coastal Art & Poetry Contest 

The California Coastal Commission sponsors a Coastal Art & Poetry Contest each year for students in kindergarten through 12th grades.  Entries must be postmarked by January 30, 2010.  More information and entry forms can be found




The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) is an advocacy organization that focuses on infusing 21st century skills into education.  The P21 has created a Skills Map which is designed to communicate the great potential of the arts for helping students meet the challenges of our century.  You can add your comment to the Art Skills Map to help illustrate why the arts are an essential part of a balanced education. Comments must be submitted by December 11, 2009. 

Visit the map and add your comments.

   Visit the page.

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