SCOTTSBLUFF — Study after study has shown that for young minds, art is more than just painting a picture — it can also be an increase in reading scores and problem-solving abilities and a decrease in dropout rates.
The West Nebraska Arts Center’s After School Arts Program encourages art-based learning and organizers say it will have a lasting affect on students who participate.
“Art has many applications,” said WNAC program director Stephanie Coley. “It can really help you grow as a person.”
According to Americans for the Arts, students with high arts participation and low socioeconomic status are five times less likely to drop out of school than peers who don’t have an art education.
Those students are also twice as likely to graduate from college that those who don’t participate in art classes, the organization says.
Additionally, it says that students involved in the arts are three times more likely to win an award for school attendance and four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. The benefits of art education can reach beyond graduation, Coley said. For example, she said, art teaches children innovative thinking and critical problem solving skills.
An arts education has been shown to improve students’ ability to reflect and critique themselves, their willingness to experiment and their ability to learn from mistakes, according to the National Drop Out Prevention Center.
According to Americans for the Arts, 72% of business leaders say that creativity is the number one skill they are seeking when hiring.
“We’re helping children prepare for jobs,” Coley said.
Additionally, Coley said, art can have positive impacts on mental health.
“Art is fun and it can release a lot of emotions,” she said.
Registration is open for the program, which uses the Nebraska State Standards for Fine Arts Education as a guide for its curriculum.
It kicks off during National Arts in Education week,…