This month is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the Arts for our communities and our children.
Americans for the Arts has a list of simple activities that you can do with your family to help your children appreciate and value the arts. You can find the full list here: Family Activities, but one of our favorite suggestions is to “check out books from the library that tell stories about visual artists, dancers, actors, and musicians. This will introduce your child to the arts and help them feel like they ‘know’ various artists.” Well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
In addition to providing books, DVDs, and CDs as resources for your family,
Handley Regional Library also introduces children and teens to the arts through our programs. We provide a first experience with theatre and performance to many middle and high school students with the Bowman Library Youth Puppeteering Troupe. Our after-storytime crafts allow toddlers and preschoolers to experiment with many artistic methods and mediums and have their first taste of the joys of creativity and self-expression. Crafternoons at Handley Library and the Coloring and Manga Art Clubs at Bowman Library introduce Teens and Tweens to artistic expression and provide a forum for them to share their art with peers. Storytimes and Dance Parties encourage the appreciation of diverse kinds of music and help children get comfortable with dance and self-expression through moving their bodies.
We here at the library have the goal of promoting literacy, but we’re more than just that. We’re here to serve our patrons as whole persons, to help them grow into well-rounded, happy, flourishing individuals, and including the arts as part of our programs is one way to do that. We would promote the arts if for no other reason than that they bring people joy; however, many of the benefits of the arts also help with literacy and school success too!
This Washington Post article explains some of these benefits: