March 10 — 8:03 am, 2017

Advocacy group says pre-K art classes may improve learning

l prek art Emma Lee/WHYY, file

An arts advocacy organization in Philadelphia has issued the first of a series of reports outlining how, exactly, the arts benefit the city.

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance has begun compiling research about the economic, educational, and health benefits of the arts. The first release is about pre-kindergarten programs.

It’s no coincidence that "Agenda: Pre-K" is being released just as Mayor Kenney is pushing his budget policy to pay for more pre-kindergarten programs. A lot of people are putting a lot of thought into pre-K right now, and the Cultural Alliance wants to leverage that.

"You may intuitively know, my kid learned more words from singing this song, or my kid has better spatial relationships because they’ve been playing with colors and shapes," said Maud Lyon, president of the Cultural Alliance. "But to have it documented by what difference this makes cumulatively over time is really important."

"Agenda: Pre-K" brings together existing scientific research into a compact, eight-page report, highlighting programs such as Settlement Music School’s Kaleidoscope, which showed that children who participated in performing arts activities had lower levels of cortisol, a chemical related to high stress

Read the rest of this story at NewsWorks

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