Saturday, July 3, 2010

Senator Gill Proclaims Youth Art Month!

TRENTON – Led by state Senator Nia Gill, the New Jersey State Senate recently celebrated Youth Art Month with passage of a ceremonial resolution recognizing the importance of art education and its contribution to student achievement.

Senator Gill, D-Essex, presented the resolution to Glenfield Middle School art teacher Catherine Kondreck, as well as students and parents from the middle school, Watchung Elementary and Montclair High School.

“Arts education contributes to the positive social, cognitive and personal development of students at all educational levels,” said Senator Gill. “It is fitting during Youth Art Month, which is celebrated nationally each March, to recognize the important work of art educators who open the imaginations of students, encourage creativity and individuality, and in effect, help prepare our children for the world.”

Ms. Kondreck, who accepted the resolution on behalf of the group, also serves as the Essex County Youth Art Month chair for the Art Educators of New Jersey - an organization founded in 1939 that promotes visual arts education statewide. She stressed the importance of art education as a means to foster positive educational outcomes by giving students an outlet for their creative energies.
“Art is so much more than drawing and painting,” Kondreck said.

According to Art Educators of New Jersey, students who participate regularly in the arts are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office, awarded for school attendance or to participate in math and science fairs.

“I definitely know that I’ve made so many more friends in Art class,” said Mira Linaugh, a seventh-grade student at Glenfield Middle School. “Every day that I have it, I’m looking forward to it.”

“It’s important for people to express their feelings through art,” said Aliza Sabin, also a seventh-grade student at Glenfield. “And it’s fun.”

Youth Art Month is celebrated to promote the benefits of art education for K-12 students and encourage support for quality school art programs. New Jersey’s celebration includes an exhibit at Newark’s Hall of Records for the month of March, with a reception on March 22, 2010 from 12 PM-1 PM. The exhibit features work from some of Essex County’s most talented students.

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