Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Sarah Jessica Parker Joins Initiative to Teach Kids Arts

Parker joins other celebrities in helping to turn around the nations worst-performing schools

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: April 24th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Sarah Jessica Parker Joins Initiative to Teach Kids Arts

The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities has unveiled a new ‘Turnaround Arts’ initiative as a pilot project for eight of the United States’ worst-performing schools. With officials from the White House and U.S Department of Educations, the Obama administrations plans to turn around the selected schools by integrating arts education.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, and Forest Whitaker are a few of the celebrities involved in the initiative. The Sex and the City actress will adopt a school in Portland.

The eight schools selected are high-poverty elementary and middle schools. They were among the lowest-performing schools in each of their states and have qualified for about $14 million in federal ‘School Improvement Grants’ under the Obama administration.

‘Turnaround Arts’ is a two-year initiative with the goal to demonstrate how arts education can help reduce behavioral problems and increase attendance, interest, and academic success.

The celebrities involved in the program will present arts-based programs to the students and teachers, celebrate their successes, and help implement community partnerships and fundraise within their appointed city.

"It's really hard to find anybody who says arts education is bad for kids," said Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the Presidential Arts Committee.

"But there is a huge amount of skepticism that the arts could be an important part of the solution in these schools."

Recent research demonstrates that arts education can greatly improve graduation rates and overall ‘school spirit’. Unfortunately, the high-poverty schools are 50 percent less likely to offer any arts or music programs or classes.

The programs implemented will not only allow children to participate in arts classes and programs within their own school, but will permit the students to go to art galleries, museums, and other cultural institutions that, up until this point, they have never visited.

Actress Kerry Washington grew up in the Bronx at the heights of the crack epidemic. She explains how important the arts were in her childhood.

“I literally remember walking to dance class, walking those two blocks from my house and seeing crack vials on the street,” Washington began.

“I just think, if I wasn’t walking to dance class, where would I have been walking? I just don’t know.”

“I come from a great family, but it’s easy to fall through the cracks without those resources around you, without those extra things that get you excited about learning,” Washington continued.

Arts education not only teaches children a variety of skills, but also encourages accountability, confidence, ability to ‘think outside the box’, creativity, and how to collaborate with others.

Dafy Hagai Challenges Everything You Think You Know About Israeli Girls Dafy Hagai Challenges Everything You Think You Know About Israeli Girls TrendingAmy Winehouse Exhibition Lands in Tel Aviv Amy Winehouse Exhibition Lands in Tel Aviv TrendingDirector Ari Cohen Discusses His Latest Doc, ‘The Family Farm’ Director Ari Cohen Discusses His Latest Doc, ‘The Family Farm’ Trending
 

Latvian Musical About A Nazi War Criminal Causes Uproar

October 31, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Latvian Musical About A Nazi War Criminal Causes Uproar

A new musical celebrating Herbert Cukurs, deputy to the leader of the Arajs Commando during the Holocaust, is being met with rightful criticism

Read More

The Israel Association of Baseball Launches Their First Ever Baseball Academy

October 31, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Israel Association of Baseball Launches Their First Ever Baseball Academy

Ten players between the ages of 14 and 21 will be selected annually to participate in the academy, and participate in a grueling, one year intensive training program

Read More

Birthright Honeymoons To Israel Are Now A Thing

October 31, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Birthright Honeymoons To Israel Are Now A Thing

Honeymoon Israel hopes to bring North American newlyweds on a near fully subsidized trip to Israel to help keep the Jewish faith alive

Read More

Dry California Welcomes Israeli Water Expert

October 31, 2014 | By Abigail Klein Leichman
Dry California Welcomes Israeli Water Expert

'As an issue of national security, Israel has successfully made itself water independent,' says California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird

Read More

Op-Ed: CUNY Is No Place For BDS Movement’s Hate

October 31, 2014 | By Jacob Baime, JNS.org
Op-Ed: CUNY Is No Place For BDS Movement’s Hate

Last week, the doctoral students council of CUNY once again considered a hateful resolution, calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions

Read More

Lieberman to Sweden: Middle East Relations More Complex Than Assembling IKEA Furniture

October 31, 2014 | By Ynet News
Lieberman to Sweden: Middle East Relations More Complex Than Assembling IKEA Furniture

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom disagrees

Read More

Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham and Celebrity BFF’s Raise Awareness For Planned Parenthood

The 'Girls' creator has designed a shirt for the women's rights organization

Read More

Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

October 30, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen Will Play Steve Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Bio Pic

Rogen is in negotiations to star as the Apple co-founder alongside Christian Bale

Read More

More Headlines