Why the arts are important in schools

An art workshop in Mountain View School in preparation for the Magic of Children exhibition. Research shows the benefits to children from arts in the classroom.

An art workshop in Mountain View School in preparation for the Magic of Children exhibition. Research shows the benefits to children from arts in the classroom.

There's no lack of research on the benefits of the arts in education, including their vital role in today's high-tech world.  The importance of art in schools is an especially hot topic today, when in-class opportunities are hard to come by.

That's why this year's Magic of Children team ran more than 40 art workshops in Collingwood and Clearview Township schools in the lead-up to the 2016 exhibition (March 4 through April 28 at Collingwood library).  Teachers were especially appreciative. Here's just one example of a testimonial to one of the workshop leaders, who were all professional artists or art teachers. 
 

"On behalf of my wonderful grade 5 students, thank you for coming in to our class to share your talent and expertise. We all enjoyed our time with you creating pieces of watercolor - your mentorship was inspiring to all.  Once again, another amazing workshop provided by Magic of Children in the Arts!!!

Mountainview School, Michelle Fabian

Al Hearn, a Ph.D. in education involved with Magic of Children, itemizes the benefits this way:
 
• Development of motor skills through manipulating brushes and other tools
• Language development when describing the art they are seeing and creating
• Decision making when making the many choices it takes to create an art piece
• Visual learning which is important for the heavily graphic centered world and
• Improved academic performance in all subject areas because of developing creativity.

See a full gallery of the 1,001 art works submitted by K-to-8 children for the 2016 exhibition here.