Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 8:43 am | Overcast 60º


KidzArt Can Help Get Children Back into School Learning Mode

Local art franchise owner attests to value of art in academics

Getting the new school year off to a good start can help children’s attitude and overall academic performance. By providing stimulating, learning activities, parents can help kids make the transition back into a learning mode more easily.

“Part of getting our kids ready for the new school year is to prepare their brains,” said Onolee Zwicke, owner of KidzArt, an afterschool art education program in Santa Barbara. “After the unstructured months of summer, it helps to exercise your kids’ imaginations and creativity to prepare them for the new school session.”

Here are some ideas: Try breaking out the art supplies and create an art center somewhere in your home where the kids can freely draw, paint, sketch and color. Using arts and crafts supplies, recycled materials and other household items, ask the kids to make a sock puppet; create a collage by gluing dried food such as cereal, pretzels, crackers, etc. on to poster board; write a story and sketch illustrations to go with it; or draw a picture using their nondominant hand.

“By being able to explore their creativity, children can exercise skills which can strengthen their academic abilities and readiness for the new school year,” Zwicke said.

Programs like KidzArt make art and learning fun for kids but that’s not all. KidzArt also creates opportunities for kids to communicate, brainstorm and express themselves, which can be a great way to get the school year started.

Studies show there is a critical link to reading, writing and math excellence in children who are exposed to art. According to the College Entrance Examination Board, children who participate in arts activities score nearly 100 points higher on SATs than students who don’t.

KidzArt teaches kids, preschoolers to teens, easy-to-learn drawing techniques in a nurturing, noncompetitive environment. The use of age-appropriate, safe, professional-level art supplies, creative activities and focusing exercises can enhance learning and build skills needed to succeed in the classroom.

After-school programs, libraries, day-care centers, as well as many school districts, use KidzArt to enhance their curricula. The classes, which include music and focusing exercises to promote a relaxing atmosphere, are also used as a calming technique to prepare students for standardized tests.

Art gives children to ability to actively create, which can improve cognitive development, strengthen communication and expressive skills and boost reasoning and organization skills.

“Art is just one of many creative activities that can help children keep their brains warmed-up for back-to-school excellence,” Zwicke said.

Click here for more information on how KidzArt gives kids a back-to-school boost, or call Zwicke at 541.653.8089.

— Jocelyn Murray represents KidzArt.

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