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Schools, city leaders examine state of the arts

ENCINITAS — A group of Encinitas civic leaders, educators and businesspeople gathered June 12 for a special breakfast meeting to discuss the state of arts education and what it means to the Encinitas community. The meeting was organized by the California Alliance for Arts Education, and was spearheaded by the Encinitas Union School District’s Assistant Superintendent Deborah Blow.
The purpose of the gathering was to activate a core group of local leaders committed to the principle that arts education is an essential component of a quality education that every child deserves.
In the midst of California’s current budget crisis and the consequences for public education, the Alliance is focused on ensuring that every child in Encinitas receives a complete education that includes instruction in the arts. Kathie Jenuine, a long-time Encinitas resident and the Performing and Visual Arts coordinator for the district recognizes that “Encinitas is quite a unique city with a school district, business leaders and parents who all value the arts in a child’s education. We are fortunate.”
“The Encinitas Union School District has supported having a VAPA coordinator for nearly 10 years,” Blow said. “We understand what it takes to give a child a full education, and are doing our best to ensure that the arts are a part of that. We look forward to the convening of the many voices in our community on the subject of arts education.”
The local effort in Encinitas is one in a series of pilot projects the California Alliance for Arts Education is sponsoring throughout the state to build support for arts education. At the event, the Alliance will present evidence of the benefits students draw from arts education, including better school attendance, overall improvement in performance in all academic disciplines, lower dropout rates, and the development of skills such as critical thinking, flexibility and innovation required for future economic success.
“We know the arts are fundamental to a well-rounded education and help students develop vital 21st century workforce skills that will serve them for decades to come,” said Executive Director of the California Alliance for Arts Education Laurie Schell.