MISSOULA — This marks the first installment of our school year segment Arts and Education. It’s a time where we take you behind the scenes to show you just how the arts are being used to further education in our schools.
We are lucky here in Missoula where we are one of just a few cities in the country to have the SPARK! Arts initiative which aims to bring the arts to every student. It's an initiative from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC that’s dedicated to making the arts available to all elementary school students.
Missoula is one of only 27 cities in the entire country to have this initiative in place for their public schools.
Sienna Solberg, the learning director for SPARK! Arts in Missoula, says it’s a job she is very passionate about, because she has seen firsthand just what the arts can do for kids.
“It provides engagement, kids want to come to school. You see them learning in creative ways. In a digital age, we need the arts more than ever,” Solberg said. So, it’s creating communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.”
Now, whether it is learning match through dance, science through drama or history through song SPARKS! Arts makes these subjects come alive in a way that will help them well into the future.
“You just see kids engaged, you see them learning, you see memory retention increase and again you see that build of 21st century skills that I think at this time we understand the importance of,” Solberg said.
Throughout the school year we will bring you stories showing just how the arts are being used in the schools to teach math, science reading and so much more.