Two Words: The Blog of the Center for the Art of Translation


Celebrate Creative Learning—It’s National Arts in Education Week

Posted on September 20, 2014, 11:51:00 AM by Erin Branagan

This week, September 14-20, is National Arts in Education Week. (We know we’re coming in at the tail end—we’ve been busy putting the final touches on next week’s author events for our new book, Baboon).

If you’re like 9 out of 10 Americans, you believe—like we do—that the arts are vital to a well-rounded education (thanks to the California Alliance for Arts Education for that fact and several more interesting stats).

You probably also agree that most students don't receive anywhere near enough (or any) arts instruction. Poetry Inside Out is changing that by integrating world poetry and translation into literacy instruction. No other literacy program that we know of combines poetry and translation to teach skills and spark imagination. Or allows kids the freedom to come up with their own ideas, not just the "right" answer

Our process sparks an amazing transformation in kids, as they realize that they can learn, create, and effectively express their ideas. Students have told us things like:

“Being exposed to new things, new words, new languages, different ways of thinking opened my eyes to see the world. I never imagined I could translate a poem from Mandarin into English, make it make sense, be a good poem, find the meaning behind all the characters and words.”

“In Poetry Inside Out I learned how to express my feelings and stand up for myself and it helps me write better."

You can come hear Poetry Inside Out students read their poetry at the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, Saturday September 27 at Civic Center Park in Berkeley.

Want to do something else to show your support for arts education? Here are 3 easy ways:

1. Sign up for the Music March Out campaign supporting music education

2. Join “Start the Arts Week” to support the arts in schools, sponsored by the National PTA and PTAs around the country. Follow or post to #StarttheArts and @NationalPTA on Twitter.

3. If you’re a California taxpayer filing in October, you can make a donation to fund arts education through the Keep Arts in Schools Fund—just check the box on your return.


10 Things You Might Not Know About the Arts and Learning

Posted on September 11, 2014, 11:27:00 AM by Erin Branagan

It’s back to school season again—time for new books, school supplies, and a sense of anticipation about what the new year will bring. We thought we’d celebrate by sharing 10 sometimes-surprising facts about learning and the arts.

1. The arts improve student learning and engagement.

2. Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.

3. Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

4. The No Child Left Behind act clearly mandates the arts as a core academic subject.

5. Federal funding for the arts and humanities is $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is funded around the $5 billion mark.

6. Arts education encourages the kind of creative and critical thinking necessary for our 21st century world.

7. Sustained learning in music and theater correlates strongly with higher achievement in both math and reading.

8. Arts in the schools help close the achievement gap: high-poverty schools in Chicago that participated in an arts education initiative made huge strides in closing the achievement gap between high and low-income students.

9. In-school and out of school art studies and activities help keep high-risk students in school.

10. New brain research shows that not only does music improve skills in math and reading, but it promotes creativity, social development, personality adjustment, and self-worth.

And one bonus fact: The arts make kids happy!
We know that the more creative outlets kids have, the happier they are.

Surprised? Got another fact to add? Let us know on our Facebook page!