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The Arts Lead to Good Grades and Good Kids

Sep 23, 2014 11:18PM ● Published by Ron Wilkie

While preparing for my customary Saturday morning ritual of sipping coffee and reading Back Stage in the Daily Citizen I was distracted by a listing of students named to the Beaver Dam Honor Roll. My youngest just advanced to her senior year of high school, so I start with the list of senior names.

 I saw the names of many kids that we know. Several of the kids I recognized because they have been out to our home at one time or another through the years for birthday parties or just to hang out and jump on our trampoline or talk around a bonfire or play games on our Wii console. 

These kids are not associated with trouble and they are polite. If I see any of them in public I am always greeted with a “Hi Mr. Wilkie” or “Hello Ron” or in the case of one that is very close to our family, the greeting is “Hi Dad!”

So off to Google I go to see what others have said about good kids and good grades. According to Michael Gove a UK educator, “There is a direct correlation between how well students are doing overall academically and their propensity to fall into risky behavior.” Mr. Gove is encouraging the UK educational systems to concentrate more on teaching and promoting the fundamentals like the 3Rs and less on social behavioral courses like sex education.

That’s good to know, but why do good grades keep kids out of trouble? I found an article that polled US educators on traits of good students. The top 10 traits were listed and there were many traits that I classify as nature and a few that are nurtured. We can’t change nature; however we can influence nurturing characteristics like; being involved and having support systems.

The names I recognized are also active kids. All of them participate in extracurricular activities like band, orchestra, SWAZZ, athletics and theater. There are numerous articles on-line that will tell you how music and the arts produce better students. So there is a start, for better grades and behavior encourage your child to participate in the arts.

These scholars also have involved parents who are visible in the community. Their parents volunteer at school and other civic events are active in the arts and encourage their children to take education seriously.  Good parents are an extension of the teacher.

A majority of parents do not know the name of their kid’s teachers. If you are not on a first or last name basis with the people who see your kid 8 hours a day 5 days a week, that is a red flag for trouble.

Perhaps society has turned the corner. Why else would a TV show about 4 geeky physicists and a pretty girl from Nebraska be so darned popular? Well, ok it is very funny and Penny is really pretty, but still it is a popular show about 4 extremely bright guys who overachieve academically.

So how do we keep our kids on the straight and narrow? Keep them active, encourage them to participate in the arts, prayer would not hurt and by all means take an active role in your their lives both at and away from school.

We live in a community with many opportunities to participate in the arts. BDACT has summer time Tell A Tale Theater for elementary and middle school students, plus year around theater classes called Acting Up. My children have water skied with the Beaverland Must-Skis every year since we moved to Beaver Dam in 2005. I’m sure there are many more. Please comment on this article!

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