Three Caddo Parish schools join a nationwide program that uses creative techniques inside the classroom. It’s called the Louisiana A + Schools program that incorporates art into every curriculum. It sounds fun, but educators said it gives children a distinct advantage.
Teaching the young mind is a science. We’re used to seeing the traditional classroom setting but what if every class included art, both visual and interactive.
“People think the arts are just about fluff but the research says the opposite when the arts are used in the classroom students score higher on test, have fewer discipline problems,” said Jacques Rodrigue, Louisiana A+ Schools chairman.
Rodrique is the son of artist George Rodrigue who’s known for his blue dog paintings and Cajun artwork. His family’s art foundation supports education including the Louisiana A + Schools program. He said the program focuses art in every lesson plan, including music.
“So imagine a classroom where you are learning history through visual art or studying science through dance,” Rodrigue said.
North Highland, Summergrove, and Westwood Elementary were just accepted into the LA A + Schools. Those educators toured Mooringsport Elementary that’s been using the program in its classrooms. The executive director said what makes the program different from other education program is the customization to each individual school and training of every staff member in the building.
“We’re talking about whole school transformation we need the whole school in the room at the same time,” said Bethany France, Louisiana A+ Schools executive director.
Besides how fun it looks for children, most importantly France said the program is successful and yields higher test scores.
“We’ve seen the attendance of students and also teachers go up,” France said.
They say it adds a more joyful climate into classrooms using artistic ways to enhance the mind.
Mooringsport Elementary is a part of five other Northwest Louisiana schools that use the LA A + Schools program with 21 more schools across the state and 150 nationwide.