BBC Reporter Jane O’Brien recently visited a pilot school in Boston and saw first hand the transformative effect of arts education.
90% of the students at Orchard Gardens Pilot School lives under the poverty line, and some are homeless. Not too long ago, violence was normal at this failing school. Students carried weapons and teachers didn’t stay for long.
When Andrew Bott, Principal of Orchard Gardens Pilot School, took over, he fired the security guards and hired arts teachers. Many advised him at the time to go for a phased approach, but Bott decided to tackle a total transformation. Anyone who sees the results today, Bott’s bold move appeared to be the right one.
Orchard Gardens is one of eight schools participating in a test program launched by the Obama administration to invest $2 millions over two years for arts education in the nation’s most poorly performing schools. So far, while there is no official research, the results in front of our eyes are promising.
We at Arts to Grow firmly believe in the importance of arts education in schools. Sadly, six millions children in the US, mostly minorities or living in poverty, has no access to arts education. We fill the gaps schools leave behind, as budgets continue to get cut. Help us give access to arts education. Please consider supporting our mission.