Fairview Elementary School and Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington are expanding their “Artful Learning” program next fall to include arts-based education for preschoolers. Staff members of both schools say the arts will increase students’ confidence.
In the “Artful Learning” curriculum, students learn basic skills like shapes and sounds through art. Fairview Preschool Teacher Lynne Hall the program says has proven successful, and she’s excited to start teaching it at a younger age.
“I think the arts are definitely helping,” she says. “I think it’s getting kids here. I think it’s keeping them here. I think it’s helping getting them excited about learning, and I think it’s helping them to learn things in a new way.”
Jeffery Allen, Assistant Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning at Ivy Tech- Bloomington, says students should have arts-infused lessons starting in preschool and continuing throughout their education at Fairview.
And while Fairview has not had good test scores in the past—it received state letter grades of a C and an F the past two years–Allen says he believes the arts will improve student test scores.
“There’s plenty of research that shows that a comprehensive preschool education will improve the outcomes for a child’s life, and it just seems obvious to me that if we have the opportunity to help make a difference, we need to do it,” he says. “It’s a duty. It’s an obligation.”
And Allen says the artful learning program is a good way to get students off to a positive early start.