This week the Center for Arts Education announced that it will be participating with 10 Brooklyn public schools selected for the Partners As Arts Partners (PAAP) program for the 2012 Spring semester. Both : The Carroll School and : The Philip Livingston School made the lucky list.
Programs, which will vary from school to school to reach their specific goals, will begin this month and extend through June. Murals, multi-cultural dance and watercolor painting in nature are just a few of the planned activities. But all will involve hands-on, interactive arts workshops led by teaching artists that parents will be able to engage in along with their children.
"I see the main goals as fostering relationships with parents and their kids, giving people a quality and meaningful arts experience and ideally to have parents become advocates for the arts in schools," said teaching artist Jillian Greenberg. "Schools get five workshops with a teaching artist and budgets for materials, food and museum visits. I'm having my middle schoolers and their parents study contemporary photography focusing in female artists. We are going to MoMA to see Cindy Sherman and they will make multimedia family portraits.
"I've run previous projects like this that were great," added Greenberg. "Parents and kids don't get a chance to make art together much and I focused as well on educating parents about their children's artistic development. It seemed like everyone had fun and learned something."
The program will also integrate educational opportunities for parents on how to build support for arts instruction at their children's school and in the community. From learning how to raise money for the arts, to approaching principals and other administrators about the importance of the arts inclusion in curriculums, which are often the first to be cut when funding is limited.
“The importance of parental involvement in our public schools cannot be overstated,” said Doug Israel, Director of Research and Policy at The Center for Arts Education in a prepared statement, “Hands on arts is a great way to engage parents and their children.”
Indeed a recent report by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory showed students with involved parents were more likely to earn higher grades, score higher in testing, enroll in higher-level programs, be promoted, have better attendance and improved social skills as well as graduate and attend college.