Whenever my aunt comes into town, we have lots of fun. She’s my mom’s sister and we call her Polly Dolly. She is very funny and crazy. She wears boots and furry scarves around her neck, and she knows how to talk with lots of different accents. If you’re bored, she always says, “Make some fun!” She’s good at turning a regular day into something interesting. When my little brother is sad, she puts spoons on her nose and makes them stick. When my little sister is yelling and being bad, she will crawl around on the floor and play pony with her. She can cheer me up when I feel depressed. I hope I grow up to be just like my aunt.
By Annette, 3rd grade
The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities recently released a report entitled “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.” It describes an educational system in crisis and suggests that arts-rich schools may be the answer to this country’s dire situation.
One of the most potent recommendations is to increase the number of working artists in long-term residencies in schools, especially underserved schools. Since the 1980s, childhood arts education has declined 49 percent for African American children and 40 percent for Latino children. The children who most need an arts education are being denied.
According to the report, the arts are absolutely crucial because they teach:
- synthetic ability or generating new and novel ideas;
- analytic ability or critical thinking which involves choosing which ideas to pursue; and
- practical ability or translating ideas into action
The report states that the IBM 2010 Global CEO survey found that CEOs in 60 countries believe creativity is the most important leadership quality. A study by the Conference board reports that employers rate creativity and innovation among the top five important skills for workers. The same employers rank arts study as the second most important indicator of a potential creative worker.
Writers in the Schools (WITS) is at the forefront of creativity education. We are recognized across the country for our strong programming and solid results in the classroom. We mentor other arts organizations and provide training for artists, teachers, and administrators. The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities validates what we’ve been doing for 27 years. Let’s help spread the word about how to build creative schools that work!
A new idea feels like joy.
A new idea, high on a mountain
or down by the sea.
To clear your mind,
get rid of those sticky ideas,
and the foggy brain will go.
All you’ll be left with is a
clear, shimmering brain.
By Daniel, 4th grade
Sir Ken Robinson is an author, speaker and international advisor on education and the arts. He argues that our current schools are killing the creativity in our children, and he explains why an entire overhaul of the education system is necessary.
This week the Texas Senate will continue debating the controversial bill that will cut public school financing. There are many things at stake in this bill, including major reductions to the arts programs.
As we confront a threat to the arts in the face of state-wide spending cuts, Robinson makes a crucial argument for why creativity matters as much as literacy. Check out this video of Robinson’s TED talk on YouTube.
Where my imagination goes wild…
My dreams come true every night
In my imagination roses are gold
With purple dots
In my imagination roads are
Mushy and in the sky
In my imagination you can run wild
And let your thoughts flow
In my imagination I jump and skip
To every garden and smell every
Gold with purple dot rose
(They all have a special smell)
In my imagination I catch butterflies
And make a wish
In my imagination I taste a very taste of grass
Some are sweet and some are sour
But no matter what
My imagination is a fun place to be