Arts in Education Program Introduction
During a reading of the story, “Precious and the Boo Hag,” by author Patricia C. McKissack, to a class of second graders, a student excitedly called out, “I feel like I am watching a movie!” This young student was so enthralled with the story, she was able to hear and see the sights and sounds. Through the animated read-aloud sessions students immerse themselves in the actions, thoughts and dialogue of the characters, as well as the settings, sounds and symbols in the literature.
The Ben Productions, Arts in Education program strives to provide Pre-K – 12 students stimulating, emotional, cultural and intellectual connections to literature by presenting interactive musical and dramatic performances of literature, through partnerships with educational organizations and institutions.
Importance of Arts in Education
Arts in Education programs have been proven to have profoundly important effects on the success of school age children.
“The study of the arts can significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college. . . And the arts are valuable for their own sake. They empower students to create and appreciate aesthetic works. Creating by doing is a
uniquely powerful way to learn.”
- US SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
Ben Productions uses multicultural literature to engage students in dramatic interactive programs. Dramatic programs make reading meaningful, attainable and enjoyable for reluctant readers. Students make discoveries in literature through musical and dramatic presentations and participation. The programs provide new ways of comprehensive, visualizing, and interpreting literature.
Facts About Arts in Education
A recent evaluation of the Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE), reports that several high poverty public schools in Chicago that participated in the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) made huge strides in closing the gap between high- and low-income students’ academic achievement. (1)
Arts and music education programs are also mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands. (2)
Arts in Education Provides Motivation to Learn
An ethnographic study of seventh grade boys in special education revealed use of the visual arts helped
them become more sophisticated, less reluctant readers. Described as learning disabled, the boys were encouraged to use visual forms of expression to convey their understanding of reading assignments. After a nine-week course the students, “took a more active role in reading and began to interpret text rather than passively reading it.” (3)
1. Catterall, James S. and Lynn Waldorf (2002), "Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE): Evaluation Summary." In R. Deasy (Ed.), Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, Washingotn, DC: AEP.
GREEN TECH HIGH CHARTER SCHOOL
The students were immediately engaged and connected with Mrs. Howard and have since expressed their
regrets that the program is over.
The program was 100% aligned to our novel/character study and helped the students make a deeper
connection to the main character and theme of the unit (identity)
— Sara Kobel, 9th Grade Honors Teacher