Portland’s King Elementary “Turns Around” Student Achievement through the Arts
In honor of National Arts in Education Week (September 9-15, 2012) we would like to pay tribute to Portland’s Martin Luther King, Jr. School. King School is a K-8 in Portland Public Schools District which recently received national accolades and funding from Turnaround Arts, a program of the President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities. As a public school that was in the lowest-achieving five percent in Oregon, restoring arts teachers and arts integration programs has been a key to success at King, turning around student achievement and generating tremendous new opportunities for students to learn, to succeed and to thrive.
President Obama’s arts education initiative, and this highly competitive award for King, perfectly showcases how high quality and integrated arts education boosts academic achievement, motivates student learning and improves school culture in the context of overall school reform.
“(Principal Kim) Patterson and her team have an exciting new vision for their school, a vision that acknowledges the vital role of the creative arts—art, music and movement—in building a school culture of engaged learning and academic success.” said Margo Lion, Co-Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities who will be visiting King Elementary next week.
First Lady Michelle Obama, in her letter of congratulations to King School Principal Kim Patterson, wrote these inspiring words on arts education:
“Throughout our Nation’s history, the arts have sparked imaginations young and old, inspired us to take action, and helped bring us together. I strongly believe that America’s creative spirit is essential to our ideals and identity. Opportunities to grow, create, cooperate and learn through the arts are essential for every child, and arts education is essential for building the innovative thinkers who will be tomorrow’s leaders.”
We share the conviction that the arts play an essential role in educating the whole child and are inspired by the investment of the President’s Council in one very special Portland elementary school. Learn more about the Turnaround Arts Initiative; findways to celebrate Arts in Education Week; and access available resources related to arts in education.