Dear Arts in Education Supporter,
My name is Ariel Beverly and I have the great privilege of being Miss Illinois 2019.
As Miss Illinois I have the chance to spend the year advocating for my chosen cause, Arts in Education. As a former art teacher and passionate artist, I know just how important it can be for kids to have access to fine arts programs like music, art, dance and theatre in school.
My goal as I travel the state is to work to make sure that every school in Illinois has at least one fine arts teacher and that we include the arts as a core part of the curriculum by requiring at least one credit in the fine arts to graduate high school in Illinois.
As it stands 80% of High School principals report that their students are not required to take a single course in the arts to graduate. Nearly a quarter of schools (23%) don’t employ a single arts specialist and 1 out of every 10 have no certified Arts teachers in their entire school district! As a community we can do better.
Having access to the arts has a powerful impact on young learners. Studies show that students who are involved in the arts are 4 times more likely to participate in a math or science fair, 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance, and 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
More importantly the arts help students stay in school and further their education. In fact students with a low socioeconomic status and a high participation in the arts have a dropout rate more than 4 times lower than their peers. Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no art education.
These are just a few of the many statistics on the powerful influence of Arts in Education and the positive effect they have on students. It’s my personal mission to urge the state of Illinois to Include the Arts and I’m asking for your help.
If you are a legislator, school board member, or mayor I would like the opportunity to talk to you about how we can work together. If you are a fellow supporter of the arts, take a moment to write your congressman, tell them you want them to include the arts in the school budgets, include the arts in the curriculum, and include the arts in schools.
Miss Illinois 2019