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Celebrate Youth Art Month

childrenApril is Youth Art Month and you might be surprised to hear that art education helps children develop socially, physically, emotionally, cognitively, and foster creativity and imagination.

Unfortunately, due to school budget cuts in many parts of the United States, art and music education is disappearing from the curriculum.

It’s important that we advocate for these programs in schools because we know their value. Students with access to arts education outperform those who do not on standardized tests (which are, apparently, the only way some “experts” can analyze educational success) and are more likely to attend college.

At the same time, we should encourage our children to see art as an integral part of their lives by introducing it at home. Working on projects together is a great family activity. And the beauty of doing arts and crafts projects at home is that there’s no critic to evaluate your work!

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the gallery on the International Child Art Foundation‘s website. This organization uses art to help children in conflict areas process and express their feelings. They’re doing fantastic work to help children whose physical needs might have been met but who are still emotionally needy.

It’s a great lesson for us in our own lives. With all the financial, social, political, and personal unrest many of us are facing, it’s important to have a creative outlet to help us manage the stress. And it’s also a great example to set for our own children on how to deal with upheaval in their lives.

So go ahead and tackle an art project with your kids and see if it doesn’t provide a stress relief for you, too.

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