Budget deficits and education budget cutbacks are a continuing concern and reality. In fact, educators and many parents are disturbed that arts education will be painted out of the picture and kids will lose a canvas for their creativity. Budget deficits and education budget cutbacks are a continuing concern and reality. In fact, educators and many parents are disturbed that arts education will be painted out of the picture and kids will lose a canvas for their creativity. Each March since 1961, Youth Art Month, emphasizes the value of art education for all children, while encouraging public support for quality art programs. It also provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are fostered through experience in the visual arts that are not possible in other areas of study.
Sponsored by the Council for Art Education (CFAE), the observance spotlights art education through children’s art exhibits at state capitols and other public facilities, thousands of local activities and exhibits and has the endorsement and support of many U.S. Senators and Congressmen and state legislators who speak out on behalf of art education.
Educators and parents will tell you that arts education is extremely important to a child’s well-being. It helps to develop their self-discipline, individuality, self-esteem, a sense of pride in self-expression, self-confidence and improves overall academic performance. There is also a level of personal satisfaction in the arts that stimulates a child to learn and to want to keep on learning. Studies on brain development have shown that experiences with art and color help children learn other subjects such as reading and math. And one of the most important aspects of art was proven in the results of extensive studies where students who participated in the arts scored higher on SAT tests regardless of socio-economic status, as reported in a 1999 report from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
A number of trade and professional organizations, as well as individual corporations, are active participants in and supporters of CFAE and
Youth Art Month. Nintendo of America Inc. and Kids’ WB! are sponsoring the “Kids’ WB! Poké Card Creator Contest,” open to children between the ages of 5-15, who will have a chance to become an official Pokémon trading card illustrator. They can choose from one of five favorite Pokémon (Pikachu, Mudkip, Treecko, Torchic or Wurmple) and draw, paint or color that Pokémon in an action pose, along with a background scene. Five Grand Prize winners will have their cards produced and inserted into exclusive Kids’ WB! Pokémon Trading Card Game booster packs, and each will win a $500 Target GiftCard.
Ever since Pokémon first hit American shores, children have been fascinated by the colorful cast of creatures and characters, the basic methods of strategy, the collectible aspects of the trading card game expansions released over the years and the action and teamwork that lies at the core of Trainers and their Pokémon.
The contest runs from February 16 to April 10, 2004 and entry forms can be downloaded from www.KidsWB.com and are available at all Target snack bar areas.
An art contest such as this and other outlets for creative expression help children discover the creative power within themselves, which will help them learn to view the world as a place filled with possibilities, one where they can shape and express their own vision. This voyage of discovery could quite literally be…in the cards.