Many educators worry that the arts are being marginalized in today’s schools, but officials in the Florida’s Miami-Dade district of working to avoid that. With help from a grant from the South Florida Children’s Foundation, Santa Clara Elementary School has launched a Violins Against Violence program, joining 60 other schools in the district that offer students free lessons in stringed instruments. Several studies show that music lessons can improve academic performance, but they are often unavailable to low-income children like those at Santa Clara, where 97 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch. Officials hope the program will also help expose students to new opportunities and capabilities. “It’s not just about today,” Santa Clara principal Marie Caceres told the Miami Herald. “Down the line, when they have to make choices, they’ll already be involved in something. This is something that can keep them off the streets.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.