Art is More than a “Secondary Subject”

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The Theater Arts Production Company High School (TAPCO) is batting 1,000! According to Neil Waldman, a distinguished artist, Children’s Aid Society Board member and director of the Fred Dolan Academy at TAPCO, a Children’s Aid Society community middle school and high school in the south Bronx, every one of the seniors this year (as last year) is going on to college! Jose Lopez, a senior, has been accepted as an animation major at the School of Visual Arts and Tania Gutierrez has been accepted by Lehman College – we’re very proud of their accomplishments and TAPCO’s track record.

In this school, which combines a middle and high school, students get advanced training in the arts. Opened as a middle school in 1997, TAPCO has added high school grades and has become a top school for aspiring artists, musicians and performers in the Bronx.

TAPCO’s outcomes are yet more proof that “art is in fact a vehicle that leads to academic achievement, higher education and a meaningful career,” according to Waldman.

He’s not alone in his thinking.

According to an article on the Edutopia website by Sara Bernard, “educator Howard Gardner's seminal theory of multiple intelligences [indicates] that arts education -- including the visual arts, dance, music, and drama -- enhances a student's ability to acquire core academic skills. Study in painting or drawing, for example, can improve complex reasoning, writing, and reading readiness, partly because the critical and creative faculties required to generate and appreciate art transfer cognitively to future learning experiences, and partly because the arts make learning fun: A student personally invested in his or her work will be far more likely to stick with it.”

Not only are the TAPCO seniors getting into college, but they are doing splendidly once they’re there. TAPCO grad and FIT freshman Nazaury Delgado, for example, has just received the ‘most likely to succeed’ award. He and Jonathan Paredes, another really talented FIT freshman, both have maintained GPAs over 3.0.ortrait by Naze.

According to Neil Waldman, however, some of this could change. One of the students now at FIT, who has been living in the dorms rather than in his violent environment in the south Bronx, is in danger of losing his living arrangement on campus as the funding for his room and board diminish. This student’s predicament shines a light on how talent and opportunity can be overshadowed by a lack of resources at a critical time, and how the helping hands of The Children’s Aid Society and its supporters can make a real difference in a child’s life, with your help.

Richard R. Buery, Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer
The Children’s Aid Society