Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Arts at the Core: Arts integration

Name: Maya Bryant
From: Raleigh, NC
Grade: Senior
School: William Peace University
Votes: 1

While I attended Durham School of the Arts for middle and high
school, it was common for an English assignment to be to memorize and
recite a monologue, while reading Romeo and Juliet or The Odyssey or
learning a song to help master the different bones in our body for

There is pressure to constantly raise test scores and thus, most
administrators believe that class time needs to be devoted to the
standard curriculum of Math, Science, Social Studies and English. The
ever-growing lists of state requirements have clogged up the
classroom curriculum, leaving less and less room for creativity. Did
you know that in over 30 developed countries, the U.S. ranks 25th in
math and 21st in science? Our school systems are constantly failing
despite the increased emphasis on state test scores.

Arts integration is an approach to teaching that integrates the fine arts and
performing arts as primary pathways to learning. In the North
Carolina, some schools and districts have had to let go of visual
art, music, dance, and drama instructors due to shrinking budgets. At
the same time, administrators bemoan the fact that they can no longer
find room in the school day for classes outside of core content areas
because so much time must be spent preparing students for
standardized state assessments. My platform understands that despite
these woes, arts education advocates argue that while teaching art
for art’s sake is certainly beneficial for all students. Studies also
show that participating in the arts can actually boost student
achievement in other academic areas.

I recently worked with the Justice Theater Project of Raleigh, KidZnotes of Durham and
the Garner Towne Players. Each program offers many different and
unique opportunities for children and young adults to express their
creativity through the performing arts and also become more active in
their communities. The things that I have learned from these
performing arts facilities have allowed me to offer and discuss with
local and state officials, about how carefully designed integrated
curricula; educators can still provide students with arts education.
This plan includes, but is not limited to more implementation of the
General Statute 115C-296, and working with local
colleges/universities education programs.

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