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Essential Parts

From “Under new principal, Savoy Elementary shows what art can teach” in this weekend’s Washington Post:

“ Ma and Damian Woetzel, a former principal with the New York City Ballet, spent more than an hour in a classroom with students, dancing, playing music and rehearsing pieces that they later performed on stage for the whole school.

It was one small part of Principal Patrick Pope’s broader effort to use the arts to transform Savoy, where poverty is pervasive and fewer than one-fifth of students are proficient in math and reading.

As Pope sees it, song, dance, theater and visual arts aren’t tacked-on extras — they’re essential parts of creating a school where students and teachers thrive. Students agree.”

Students in grades three through five now have “twice as much art and music time” as they did previously. But Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, explains, “We are having a national conversation about how to fix our schools, and the arts were not in that conversation.”

Needless to say, the prevailing question is: how can we expand that conversation?

Learn more about Catalogue’s Performing, Literary, and Visual Arts nonprofits, many of which work directly with our schools, right here.

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