A Blueprint for Building an Arts-Rich School, 2021 Updated

Posted by Children First on January 18, 2022

The arts are a central component of successful schools. Exhaustive research confirms that an arts-rich school environment has a critical impact on student achievement, student engagement, student emotional and social development, builds pride in school culture, and enhances teacher effectiveness.

Students who receive an arts-rich education are five times more likely to graduate from high school and are 30% more likely to aspire to go to college. An arts integrated curriculum benefits all students, especially English language learners, and fragile learners.

Yet, for far too long arts instruction has served as a supplement to the school day, breaking up the academic classes. Now research tell us that when arts are integrated into the delivery of academic instruction schools achieve higher levels of student success.

In 2018, Public Citizens for Children and Youth’s Picasso Project launched the Arts-Rich Schools Initiative intended to create a cohort of schools where the best practices of arts-rich instruction are created, honed and ultimately disseminated to schools across the entire district. Each participating school was granted $10,000 a year for three years, with funds provided by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, Hess Foundation, Leo Model Foundation, Neubauer Family Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and William Penn Foundation. This Blueprint captures the lessons learned from these past three years of the arts integrated schools initiative.

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