When I was little, pretty much everything that I liked had 4 legs or was in the back woods of my house. I didn’t particularly “blend” into the normal crowd in my schools. I was introverted, shy, and socially awkward. I had no idea how to communicate with other human beings, so animals worked a lot better for me. Nature in general was the bee’s knees in my book.
My self-expression seemed to naturally lay with the arts and nature was my muse. Growing up, I often felt incapable of handling most situations. With an absentee father and a mentally ill mother, I was left pretty much to my own.
In middle school, I began to explore photography. My father, at that time, was the principal of my school. In order to demonstrate his love to me maybe, he built a dark room in an unused teacher’s bathroom. There was counter space to lay out all the chemicals, a tap for running water, and even a place to examine your negatives while they dry.
This was the first time, in all my life, that I felt self-expression. I could go out, take pictures, come in and develop them all on my own. They weren’t particularly great, I was only 13 at the time, but they granted me a voice. A starting point for my creative young spirit to bloom from.
There are tons of studies proving the efficacy of the arts in education. Statistics like:
Studies show that students of the arts in all disciplines outperformed their non-arts peers on the SAT by 91 points in 2009.¹
Students who participate in arts programs are at least three times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office within their schools, participate in a math and science fair, win an award for school attendance and win an award for writing an essay or poem.¹
Support your local Arts Programs. They are an opportunity waiting to happen.
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