Full STEAM Ahead for Art!

For young children, learning to create and appreciate art is more important than ever to their development. While school curricula in the United States have shifted heavily in recent years toward reading and math, that is all beginning to change. Some may regard art education as a luxury, but simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development.

This is why the Broad Ripple Kiwanis Club has broadened its Pints for Half Pints support to include the Arts…we are pumped up for STEAM!

During 2014, we donated funds to purchase:

  • Equipment for the drum line at IPS #59 (Merle Sidener Gifted Academy at Kessler and Keystone) where students can self-express and give mind and body a workout through playing a percussion instrument.
  • A music stand cart for Broad Ripple Magnet High School to move music stands and instruments to performance areas without damaging either.
  • 30 books for the music program at IPS #91 to help music come alive for the students. For many of these kids, this class is their only exposure to the arts, and they value the opportunity to participate and learn.
  • A classroom set of Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Secret Lives of Bees” for Broad Ripple Magnet High School  The novel’s setting during the U.S. Civil Rights period will enhance students’ understanding of that era, and the theme of self-acceptance is important for all young people.
  • Five iPad minis and cases for the expanding STEAM program at Nicholson Performing Arts Academy (IPS #70).

Developmental benefits of art for young children:

  • Motor skills—Many motions involved in art are essential to the growth of fine motor skills.
  • Language development— making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions.
  • Decision making—Art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
  • Visual learning—Even before they can read, kids are taking in visual information.
  • Inventiveness—When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives.
  • Cultural awareness—Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone else’s interpretation of reality.
  • Improved academic performance—Young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.