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Bailey Myers

Longwood University

201 High St.

Farmville, VA, 23909

May 5th, 2019

County School Board

To the County School Board:

My name is Bailey Myers and I am currently teaching in the elementary school. Recently,

I have been trying to integrate the arts in my classroom, but I find myself limited to only do so

much. The other day, I was trying to teach a lesson on writing through painting or drawing. I was

going to have students draw or paint out an object and write a story on it, yet I find my students

using the three colored pencils I have. I know that about half of the teachers in this county school

system integrate technology, art, and other aspects, but I feel as if resources are too little.

Art integration is a method of presenting information to our students that can show a vast

amount of benefits in student learning, social skills, and more. In a study by Lara Lackey and

Dianna Huxhold, teachers were to use art integration as a school reform. After completing the

reform, “Teachers attributed some of the new behaviors directly to the new curriculum, for

example when artistic activities were seen as validating for some children, as a source for

cultural capital, or as promoting confidence to try challenging tasks…” (Lackey & Huxhold,

2016, p. 218). After learning the process of art integration and implementing the process,

teachers learned and witnessed student improvement in their work as well as their confidence in
their work. Quotes mentioned in the article by Lackey and Huxhold also back up the point that

teachers were shocked at seeing the difference art integration in the classroom made. Teachers

said that even though there is more effort into integrating the arts into the curriculum, it is worth

seeing student improvement in many different areas.

Zenkov starts out her article by giving her experience as a teacher and seeing that

students have complained over a number of years about books, literacy assignments, and the

instruction that goes along with it. In order to help with those student complaints, Zenkov

introduced the program of Through Students’ Eyes. During this program, students would be

given a camera and then they were to take pictures during a range of four months to a year. The

students were then supposed to answer the questions of “What are the purposes of school? What

helps you succeed in school? What gets in the way of your school success?” (Zenkov, 2009, p.

577). After collecting photos, students then met every other Saturday to examine their photos and

write about them. After writing about their pictures, the students “appeared to find this writing

process freeing, and we came to understand that images that they have taken are powerful tools

for helping them write descriptive and analytical paragraphs” (Zenkov, 2009, p. 578). This quote

shows that students were more active in their writing when they were able to write about their

own form of art. Even though they were to reflect their question answers in the writing, they

were still able to be creative through their reflection.

After making it clear that student improvement is present when writing is integrated with

the arts, I would like to ask for a grant in order to have more supplies in order for my students to

get out of the box creative with their writing assignments. When my students complete their

writing assignment with art integration, I plan to share their work with the school board and

show how much improvement students made.


Sincerely,

Bailey Myers

Longwood University

201 High St.

Farmville VA 23909
References

Lackey, L., & Huxhold, D. (2016). Arts Integration as School Reform: Exploring How Teachers

Experience Policy. Arts Education Policy Review, 117(4), 211–222.

https://doi.org/10.1080/10632913.2016.1213120

Zenkov, K., & Harmon, J. (2009). Picturing a Writing Process: Photovoice and Teaching Writing

to Urban Youth. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(7), 575–584. Retrieved from

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