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How to spur kids’ interest in the arts

Art can enrich the lives of people young and old, male and female. The arts can introduce adults and children to different cultures and traditions, while also helping them to develop more fully as human beings.
While some may feel the benefits of the arts cannot be measured, the nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts notes that children who are involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement than children who are not involved in the arts. And though mathematics and science may not be the first thing people associate with the arts, children involved in the arts are four times more likely to participate in math and science fairs than children who are not involved in the arts.
Parents can do a lot to make art a bigger part of their children’s lives. The following are some simple ways parents can bring more art into their children’s lives, courtesy of Americans for the Arts.
—Join in the fun. Parents can make art more fun for children by playing music around the house and singing and dancing alongside their youngsters. In addition, read a book to or with your children and join in when they pursue other artistic endeavors, such as drawing or painting.
—Find local events. Many school districts have slashed their arts budgets in recent years, but parents can still find local arts events for children in their communities. Peruse the local newspaper and other community-based periodicals for cultural events for children. Support local theater groups by attending performances with your children and explaining to them that the performers live in the community just like they do.
—Pitch in with local arts organizations. Local arts organizations typically rely on donations and volunteers to support their programs. Parents who want to instill a love of the arts in their children can help local organizations’ fundraising efforts and even volunteer their time if the opportunity presents itself. If possible, take children along when volunteering so they can get some firsthand experience with the arts.
—Encourage children’s artistic pursuits. Some children may decide to pursue artistic endeavors on their own, and parents can encourage such pursuits. Celebrate children’s participation in arts-based activities in school and in the community, recognizing their hard work in the same way you would acknowledge their successes in the classroom and in sports.
The arts can benefit youngsters in various ways, but it’s often up to parents to instill a love of the arts in their children.

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