If a picture is worth a thousand words, our kids have a lot to say.
At the HALO Learning Center, we provide future-focused art programs to empower homeless youth and equip them with the necessary skills to become contributing members of society.
So why art?
It can be difficult for our children to express themselves. They aren’t always able to put their experiences into words, but sometimes a paint brush can be the gateway to healing. Children love to express themselves through paintings, drawings, glitter and glue. Here are five reasons why art is good for kids, according to childtrends.org.
1. Arts participation is infinitely correlated to positive personal and academic outcomes. Increased school attendance, higher grades, graduation from college and elevated levels of literacy and community engagement all have a positive relationship to participation in the arts. Art is also related to a child’s social and emotional development by fostering a healthy mode of expression. This can help regulate emotions, foster healthy communication and open the door to new modes of thinking.
2. Arts participation can be especially beneficial for kids who are economically disadvantaged. Children that come from a lower socio-economic status show an even stronger correlation between art activities and personal and economic growth. One specific study showed that cortisol levels decreased in low income preschoolers that participated in art activities.
3. A neighborhood can be positively influenced by art. Some studies show that poverty is reduced in areas that feature art galleries, performance facilities and other spaces that foster the arts. Specifically, a study done in New York City showed that neighborhoods with more arts activities had lower felony rates and increased participation in local schools.
4. Children that express the desire to continue into higher education show a greater interest in art. Students are more likely to participate in school art activities if their parents received higher education degrees, or if they plan to attend a four year college themselves.
5. Art, specifically music, may increase cognitive functioning. Some studies show that children who engage with music at an earlier age develop neural connections that other children do not develop. These children have more attuned audial processing, a function that is necessary for understanding speech.
Art can be more than just a means of expression, it can be the gateway to a better life.
Homelessness hurts. Art heals. If interested in getting involved in HALO, contact [email protected].