SALT LAKE CITY--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Friends of Art Works for Kids today announced that the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTS Program) is bringing arts-integrated education to elementary students at 130 schools across the state for the 2013-14 school year, thanks to the continued support of the Utah State Legislature.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we would not have had the success we’ve had in expanding the BTS Program were it not for the supportive and vocal community members”
This marks an increase of nearly 60 schools over the previous school year, and is on track with a five-year sustainability and growth plan created by BTS Program stakeholders. What began in just a handful of schools now has 87 specialists working in 22 districts and 11 charter schools to bring effective arts-integrated instruction to approximately 70,000 students across the state.
Friends of Art Works for Kids, a grassroots initiative created to advocate for the BTS Program by mobilizing efforts at the local level, will focus its efforts in the upcoming months on securing ongoing funding for the BTS Program in the next state education budget. The BTS Program is a state-funded program that places arts teachers specializing in one of four arts disciplines – dance, music, theater and visual arts – inside the classroom to work alongside the classroom teacher to develop arts-based lesson plans that integrate into the core curriculum of math, science, history and language arts.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we would not have had the success we’ve had in expanding the BTS Program were it not for the supportive and vocal community members,” said Lisa Cluff, executive director of Friends of Art Works for Kids. “We often hear from legislators that they receive more letters of support about the BTS Program than any other single issue, and those letters have had a huge impact on budget decisions. We are extremely grateful to both the community and the legislature for their continued support.”
Studies have shown that the BTS Program has contributed to improved standardized test scores, and has had a measurable positive impact in student understanding, behavior, attendance, engagement, self-esteem, and enthusiasm for learning. Friends of Art Works for Kids and other program stakeholders are dedicated to ensuring that all elementary students in Utah receive access to the benefits of the BTS Program.
“Our goal is that within the next five years, the BTS Program will be available to all schools statewide,” added Cluff. “The next step to reaching that goal is securing ongoing funding in the next state budget, so we will once again be relying on our supporters to help us in our efforts.”
For more information on the BTS Program and how to help support Friends of Art Works for Kids, visit www.artworksforkids.org.
About Friends of Art Works for Kids
Friends of Art Works for Kids (www.artworksforkids.org) is a grassroots initiative created to ensure that Utah's school children receive the benefits of high-quality, integrated arts instruction through the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program. Using the Art Works for Kids teaching model, the program integrates art into the core curriculum, effectively increasing student performance in every subject-from language arts and social studies to math and science.