As one of my favorite times of the year, this is the week when our school is transformed into all things artistic. Over the weekend, at least one piece of work from every child is hung from floor to ceiling in the gym, and all over the school. Tonight we will gather as a community and give out many art awards and celebrate the accomplishments of our students.
Tomorrow we have our Student Art Day. We begin with student performances in band, chorus, strings and dance for grandparents and the rest of the school. From there students spend the day in different workshops from pottery to story-telling to ceramics and on and on. They do, however, take a break for burgers on the grill and to listen to the rock bands perform.
On Thursday the culmination of an enormous amount of parental volunteerism takes place with the annual three-day Harding Art Show (http://artshow.hardingacademy.org/podium/default.aspx?t=105613). 60-70 artists from all over the country have applied, and are chosen to display and sell their beautiful art work as we will welcome more than a thousand visitors from all over. There is great variety in the art work and the mediums, and it is a wonderful culmination of a week that puts art in the spotlight.
In the January issue of Education Update (http://www.ascd.org/Default.aspx) they list ‘Ten Reasons Art Education Matters’:
1. Arts education increases student engagement.
2. Children learn positive habits, behaviors and attitudes.
3. The arts enhance creativity.
4. Students sharpen their critical intellectual skills.
5. The arts teach students methods for learning language skills.
6. The arts help students learn mathematics.
7. The arts expand on and enrich learning in other subjects.
8. Aesthetic learning is its own reward.
9. Students practice teamwork.
10. Arts education is just the beginning.
What a pleasure it is to be a part of a school that recognizes and values the arts for these and for so many other reasons.