Reaching Youth on the Edge: Portland’s PlayWrite releases new research on the powerful benefits of arts access
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PlayWrite serves a broad population of young people who have not thrived in the mainstream education system, including Native American youth, children of Hispanic farm workers, teenagers in residential care for psychiatric diagnoses and young mothers. In this study of the impact of PlayWrite’s programming, researchers asked teachers to report changes in behavior among students who participated in PlayWrite and a control group of students who were on the waitlist for the program.
What they discovered was that PlayWrite students showed decreased levels of:
• Hyperactivity: being restless and easily distracted
• Emotion symptoms: including anxiety, somatic complaints, depression
• Anger Dysregulation: culturally inappropriate (i.e. disruptive or destructive) emotional expression of anger and irritability (e.g., tantrums)
In addition, follow up with students themselves reavealed that their ability to manage and control impulses improved. These improvements in psychosocial measures lead to better integration into the larger community and enhance leadership qualities.
As Portland’s schools and communities continue seeking ways to support our youth, particularly those at high risk of drop-out and disengagement, it is more important than ever to increase access to the arts through ground-breaking organizations like PlayWrite.
Your Advocacy Makes a Difference
Last November, Portland voters overwhelmingly supported the establishment of the Arts Education & Access Fund to restore arts teachers to every Portland elementary school and increase access to the arts citywide. Please join us in advocating that Portland City Council act quickly and thoughtfully to shore up and secure Portland’s new Arts Tax. We want to ensure that it is successfully and efficiently collected and distributed to the classrooms and communities that it was designed to reach. E-mail Portland City Council today and share your perspective on the importance of honoring the will of the voters and investing our tax dollars in arts education and access: