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Art becoming a tool for learning

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Reported by: Margo Gray Using art as a tool for learning is not a new idea, but school officials in Brunswick County want to see more of it, not just in art class, but throughout the school curriculum. Students in Brunswick County are already artistic. Now school officials are working to bring more of the arts into the classroom. They are starting at Brunswick County Academy, an alternative school for at risk kids. Officials with the Brunswick Arts Council have come up with a program that uses fine arts to reach those at risk of dropping out. "Arts properly integrated into academic curriculum yield tremendous value in enhancing academic performance and having a very significant impact on lowering drop out rates," said Gary Halberstadt of the Brunswick Arts Council. Connie Enis who is a curriculum coordinator for Brunswick County thinks it could be an alternative form of learning for the kids. "All students have different learning styles and we want to differentiate to address unique needs." Halberstadt said the program would start small, and usher in some vocational arts learning into Brunswick County Academy by next semester. Providing students with the opportunity to test their math skills through artwork, or working on their grammar through music lessons, is one of the helpful ways to help the students learn, according to experts. ”It would be more fun because it takes your mind of the subjects like math and it gives them something to look forward too," said a Brunswick Academy senior. The Brunswick Arts Council is hoping to secure the $900,000 in local, state, and federal funding it would take to have the arts initiative in all 18 Brunswick County schools.

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