How to spur kids’ in­ter­est in the arts

The Covington News - - BACK TO SCHOOL EDITION - News@cov­

Art can en­rich the lives of peo­ple young and old, male and fe­male. The arts can in­tro­duce adults and chil­dren to dif­fer­ent cul­tures and tra­di­tions, while also help­ing them to de­velop more fully as hu­man be­ings.

While some may feel the ben­e­fits of the arts can­not be mea­sured, the non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­cans for the Arts notes that kids who are in­volved in the arts are four times more likely to be rec­og­nized for aca­demic achieve­ment than kids who are not in­volved in the arts. And though math­e­mat­ics and sci­ence may not be the first thing peo­ple as­so­ci­ate with the arts, kids in­volved in the arts are four times more likely to par­tic­i­pate in math and sci­ence fairs than kids who are not in­volved in the arts.

Par­ents can do a lot to make art a big­ger part of their kids’ lives. The fol­low­ing are some sim­ple ways par­ents can bring more art into their kids’ lives, cour­tesy of Amer­i­cans for the Arts.

Join in the fun. Par­ents can make art more fun for kids by play­ing mu­sic around the house and singing and danc­ing along­side their young­sters. In ad­di­tion, read a book to or with your chil­dren and join in when they pur­sue other artis­tic en­deav­ors, such as draw­ing or paint­ing.

Find lo­cal events. Many school dis­tricts have slashed their arts bud­gets in re­cent years, but par­ents can still find lo­cal arts events for kids in their com­mu­ni­ties. Peruse the lo­cal news­pa­per and other com­mu­nity-based pe­ri­od­i­cals for cul­tural events for kids. Sup­port lo­cal theater groups by at­tend­ing per­for­mances with your chil­dren and ex­plain­ing to them that the per­form­ers live in the com­mu­nity just like they do.

Pitch in with lo­cal arts or­ga­ni­za­tions. Lo­cal arts or­ga­ni­za­tions typ­i­cally rely on dona­tions and vol­un­teers to sup­port their pro­grams. Par­ents who want to in­still a love of the arts in their chil­dren can help lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions’ fundrais­ing ef­forts and even vol­un­teer their time if the op­por­tu­nity presents it­self. If pos­si­ble, take kids along when vol­un­teer­ing so they can get some first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence with the arts.

En­cour­age kids’ artis­tic pur­suits. Some kids may de­cide to pur­sue artis­tic en­deav­ors on their own, and par­ents can en­cour­age such pur­suits. Cel­e­brate kids’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in arts-based ac­tiv­i­ties in school and in the com­mu­nity, rec­og­niz­ing their hard work in the same way you would ac­knowl­edge their suc­cesses in the class­room and in sports.

The arts can ben­e­fit young­sters in var­i­ous ways, but it is of­ten up to par­ents to in­still a love of the arts in their chil­dren.

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