People across the country spent the week celebrating the transformative power of the arts in education.
National Arts in Education Week was passed by Congress in 2010 and is held annually during the week beginning with the second Sunday of September. The designation is meant to bring attention to the importance of the arts—dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design and visual arts— and highlight how it is essential to the balanced education of a child.
Mansfield ISD’s fine arts programs include art, band, choir, cheerleading, drill team, elementary music, orchestra and theatre arts. Dr. Darwert Johnson, director of fine arts, said through those programs, students are learning 21st century skills to prepare them for life beyond graduation.
“Arts promote that critical thinking skill and that creativity and collaboration that we want to see our students have when they leave our schools and go into college or the workforce,” he said.
This year, MISD added its fine arts academies to the list of its choice programs. The elementary and intermediate school students who are enrolled in those academies are able to engage in a rigorous academic environment while encouraging artistic exploration and integration.
“It gives them an outlet to express their emotions and really find their creativity, which are just things that they can use later down in life, and it helps find that self-expression as they grow up,” said Jessica McPherson, P.E. and dance teacher at Alma Martinez Intermediate School. “It gives students another way to show their knowledge. Instead of just standard assessments, they can show it through a creative outlet.”
As the students move on to upper grade levels, the hope is that they have been exposed to many disciplines of the arts and have a better understanding of whether they’d like to continue in more competitive levels of MISD’s award-winning fine arts programs.
“We want to be one of the leading districts in the state in all of our fine arts programs,” said. Dr. Johnson. “We want to see all of our students performing at the state level, and nationally, and be known for how amazing our fine arts programs are.”
MISD’s fine arts department thrives to make a valid and lasting contribution to the education of students through study, participation and performance in the arts. For more information about the programs offered, visit the fine arts webpage.