March Recognized as Arts in West Virginia Schools Month

March 11, 2006

Charleston, W.Va. – The state’s next Van Gogh may be discovered this month in West Virginia’s public schools. Arts in West Virginia will be celebrated across the state throughout March as part of Arts in West Virginia Schools Month. West Virginia Secretary Arts and Education Kay Goodwin presented the Arts in West Virginia Schools Month proclamation from Governor Joe Manchin during the West Virginia Music Educators Association State Show Choir Evaluation Assessment on March 11, 2006.  

“While the Board of Education and the Department of Education recognizes the importance of basic skills, we also understand the importance of the art education,” said State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Art education allows a child to fine-tune other vital skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century such as critical and creative thinking.”  

Encompassing the four disciplines of the Arts, theater, visual art, dance and music, Arts in West Virginia Schools Month recognizes the importance they play in the lives of everyone, including children. March is celebrated on the national level, as well, as a time to celebrate all of the four disciplines. National Youth Art Month, Music in Our Schools Month and Theatre in our Schools Month will all be recognized throughout the month of March.  

Studies have shown that an Arts-based education increases academic success, heightens standardized tests and lowers the incidence of crime among general and at-risk students. Studies also indicate that young people who participate in the Arts for three days a week for one year are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and three times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.  

For more information about Arts in West Virginia Schools Month, contact Julia Lee, West Virginia Department of Education Arts Coordinator, at (304) 558-7805.  


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