BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An education organization has a unique solution for improving Baltimore City schools’ drop-out rate: adding art to the classroom.

What’s more — as Gigi Barnett reports — the organization believes art can also help students learn tougher subjects.

One of the newest murals was just completed by students at Hilton Elementary School in Northwest Baltimore. It took weeks of work by the school’s second- and third-grade classes.

Students who created it know mural art is not easy.

“The hardest thing was actually trying to paint it because there were small spots,” said Zariah Stringfield, a student at Hilton.

A nonprofit group called “The Young Audience of Maryland” helped the mural come to fruition. The group brings entertainers and artists like Amanda Pellerin to city schools.

The group believes more art classes in elementary and middle schools can cut down the city’s drop-out rate.

“When students feel like it’s fun, it’s engaging, when they understand… that something in school is exciting, they want to come to school,” said Pellerin.

The organization’s grant goes primarily to schools in low-income areas. It’s designed to incorporate art into core subjects like science, language arts and reading. Each semester, 16 schools receive the grant.

Each school has its own art project, which could include music, stage performances and dramatic readings.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is a supporter.

“Each child learns differently,” she said. “When you have the arts-integrated education, you have a chance to reach kids that you just can’t through the normal curriculum. I’m glad they’re using it as a tool to reach kids.”

“Young Audience” is the nation’s largest arts education provider.

Comments (5)
  1. bernard mc kernan says:

    Yeah, teach them how to spray paint at an early age. What a bright future they’ll have if they use neon colors.

  2. mike hoff says:

    driver license are very important to teens they can get it from 15 on is a privilege not a right, if a teen drops out of school than he should lose his or her right to drive and they can not get it back until they go back to is very much needed in today life style.a teen can keep his license as long as they are in school and finish

  3. ds says:

    And what an ignorant jerk you are, Bernard. This is a program that does much good!

  4. wml says:

    Bernard is clearly someone who does not have much knowledge about education research. His reading comprehension shows that he could benefit from some things these elementary school students have learned.

  5. Tennille Holland says:

    Way to go! My niece is Zariah Stringfield and she has excelled at this school and my family and I are more than proud of her and pleased with the education that Hilton is providing here. Please keep up the good the work. The Children really are out furture!

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