Concert Effort Targets Art Education

Article excerpt

Byline: Joy Myers, County Line columnist

We've all read the research over the years about the importance of providing our children with a well-rounded education -- an education that includes traditional subjects in addition to arts and music education.

Yet, when our school systems are faced with budget cuts, art and music often are among the subjects that suffer.

In a recent Florida Times-Union article, Clay County School Superintendent David Owens acknowledged that "the recent $3.5 million budget cuts will affect the classroom, and next year's $6 million shortfall could jeopardize art and music classes."

Concert on the Green is an organization committed to keeping these programs alive for our students by providing supplemental funding donated by businesses, individuals and through funds raised from our annual symphony performance.

Numerous studies have shown the importance of exposing students at all levels to art and music.

Some of the most striking findings include:

-- Those who studied the arts more than four years scored 59 points higher on the SAT verbal test and 44 points higher on the math portions than students with no coursework or experience in the arts.

-- Arts education programs are related to safer and more orderly school environments, and substance abuse is lowest among music students.

-- Arts education programs are related to keeping students interested and staying in school. …