For children, the arts provide a personal way to experience education. Learning becomes something for our children to be proud of — whether it is an inspired painting or a heartfelt song. Through art, education becomes self-expressive and improves mental and emotional well-being.
PPSJ’s Ask for More Arts (AFMA) program brings teachers and partner schools together with local artists to use art as the vehicle to meaningful learning. Students learn core subjects like math, language arts, science and reading through art: songwriting, painting, dance and everything in between.
In a survey of 130 Ask for More Arts teachers:
94% said their students are more engaged when art is integrated into academic learning.
In Jackson Public Schools, 98% of students are African-American, and 85% of those children live in high poverty. PPSJ believes that our shared heritage and culture is essential to shaping a better future. Ask for More Arts recently started a school year with lessons revolving around the Civil Rights Movement, African culture and the importance of historic African-American communities in Jackson and Mississippi.
Knowing and teaching our community’s culture and history — both its struggles and victories — creates education that is empowering, unifying and life-changing.
Right now, only two of the 38 elementary schools in Jackson Public Schools have art specialists other than music teachers. PPSJ works to solve this problem through artist residencies.
The Ask for More Arts residency program gives local teaching artists a place in AFMA schools. Our resident artists work with teachers and students to weave arts into all subject areas, letting our community of art and culture bring fresh life and energy to the classroom. These artists then take their experiences back to their own work, growing the vibrant culture of Jackson with a greater sense of community responsibility.
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