By Angela Ardolino
Is your child doodling on every piece of paper they can get their hands on? Do they dance uncontrollably when their favorite song comes on? Are they saying lines along with their favorite movie? Well if you answered yes to any of these questions, your child may have an underlying talent in the arts that is waiting to be brought to light. And summer is a great time to nurture those talents.
There are countless benefits to arts education and exposure but one of the largest is academic benefits. A 2006 study commissioned by the National Assembly of States Arts Agencies found that the reading of dramatic plays helps children comprehend and improves reading skills among all age groups but especially for first graders who are reading below their grade level. Similarly, students how are exposed and participate in arts programming show greater proficiency in language and math. And those that have had four or more years of arts study scored 59 points higher in verbal portion and 44 points higher on the math portion of the SAT.
The benefits, although great in the academic spectrum, go far beyond school and academic achievement. Children who have the opportunity to study the arts are happier and more self-confident. They gain the ability to express themselves more openly and without reservation. Research also shows that arts can also enhance your child’s social standing and ability to communicate with adults. And these skills will only help them in the future as adults in college, job interviews and business world.
Imagination and Creativity
A child’s imagination is an extraordinary thing and the arts provide kids with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams. It can create worlds we cannot visit, friends we cannot see and ideas we can barely fathom. There is no measurement to the extent a child can grow this magical ability, and as a parent we need to embrace this limitless wonder. Some of your child’s best creations will be the product of their imagination, whether it’s playing an instrument, acting in a play or a hand painted mural. With such a powerful tool for a child, it is important for parents to encourage the growth and an arts summer program is the perfect place to do it.
And remember, just because your child is interested in painting doesn’t mean that they’ll grow up to become a famous painter. But nurturing those talents will certainly help them be a smarter better person. Take the first step when you see your child’s talents show through, you won’t regret and your kids will thank you later.
Performing Art Camps (music, theater and dance)
Ballerina Princess Camps, The Dance Center, www.brandondance.com; 813-684-4282
Ballerina Princess Camps are week-long sessions set for July and include a daily ballet class. Camps will focus on their own princess ballet — Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Nutcracker — and have daily age-appropriate activities, including arts and crafts. The first 50 dancers registered get a free ballerina princess T-shirt. Class size is limited.
Berkeley Fleming Arts Summer Camp, www.berkeleyprep.org/summer; 813-885-1673
For more than 30 years, Berkeley summer programs have helped children explore new subjects, develop their creativity, perfect techniques on the playing field and make lasting friendships along the way. Berkeley Summer provides the perfect opportunity to focus, reinforce, enrich, improve and enjoy. Every student benefits from the personalized attention, meaningful activity and the chance to indulge his talents.
Curtain Call Playhouse, www.curtaincallpat.com, 813-962-7538
Offering the most complete summer camp theater experience. Choose from the following dates: June 18th, July 2nd, July 16th, and/or July 30th
Guilfoil Academy, www.guilfoilacademyofdance.com, 727-216-6989
The Academy is the home of The Guilfoil Ballet Theater Youth Performance Company. GBT is a Non-Profit pre-professional dance study and performance training program to prepare young artist for future employment in the professional world of dance and theater.
Hoffman Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall, (727) 712-2706, www.hoffmanperformingarts.org
Give your child a summer in the spotlight at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Hoffman Institute. Performing arts classes and camps available for ages three to eighteen like “Next Stop Broadway!”, “Show Stoppers!” and “I’m Ready for My Close- Up!”
Largo Cultural Center, www.largoarts.com; 727-587-6751
The magical theater camp experience has returned to the center this summer. Registration is open for this three-week camp for ages 8-13. From June 11-29, campers will perform in the fantastical, magical and musical extravaganza Seussical Jr. based on the stories of Dr. Seuss. From July 16 through Aug. 4, campers will perform in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man Jr. Campers will be trained in acting, dance, improvisation, pantomime and stage direction by experienced teachers. Scholarships and before and after care are available.
Mary Jo’s Sizzlin’ Summer Camps, www.mjpaa.com; 813-969-0240
Experience a summer of dance (ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, acrobatics), acting, musical theater, voice and music. The fun is for ages 3 and older. The weekly themes include Princess and Pirates, Beach Bash, Dancing Divas & Dudes, Tampa’s Got Talent, Movie Moves and In the Jungle! Sign up online. Sessions are June 18-29 and July 9 through Aug. 3.
Music Showcase and The Florida Academy of Performing Arts, www.faopa.org
Camps include musical theater for ages 5 and older. Shows include Fiddler on the Roof, Little Mermaid, High School Musical, and Grease. Other camps include group guitar, group violin, and computer music class, acting classes, rock band and Glee show choir. Half and full-day camps and before and after care are available.
Get in on the fun with your child during these classes for newborns through age 5. Program includes six 45-minute classes, two CDs, parent guide/DVD and an illustrated songbook.
Patel Conservatory, www.patelconservatory.org; 813-222-1002
The Patel Conservatory is offering more than 70 camps and classes in all areas of dance, theater and music for all ages and experience levels! Camps for ages 3 through college-age are Monday through Friday. Weekly classes for all ages are held on afternoons, evenings and weekends. Call to speak to a member of the registration staff for help in choosing the right camp or class for your needs.
Stageworks Summer Theater Camp, www.stageworkstheatre.org; (813) 251-8984
Learn about theater from the bay area’s Stageworks Theatre this summer. Campers will perform in a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie Junior. Camp is open to student’s 8th – 12th grade. Performance dates are July 27, 28 and 29.
Summer Stars Theater Camps www.theaterprep.com; 813-831-5214
These week-long half-day camps bring the magic of the stage to youngsters 5-8 and 9-16. Campers learn acting, music, dance and stagecraft from credentialed, caring staff in a beautiful historic theater. Every camp ends with a fully staged show!
Fine Art Camps (painting, photography, drawing, sculpting)
Dunedin Fine Art Center, www.dfac.org; 727-298-3322
Studies show that children who study art do better in all of their studies. DFAC summer art camps offer fun, creative, cognitive experiences for children ages 4-1/2-14. Activities include drawing, painting, drama and dance.
KidzArt, www.kidzarttampa.com; 813-872-7603
KidzArt is a fun and dynamic drawing-based program that encourages discovery and self-expression in a safe environment! The summer camps are designed to provide each student with a unique experience that nurtures their individual creative spirit while building friendships, gaining artistic understanding and – most importantly – having fun!
Morean Arts Center, www.moreanartscenter.org; 727-822-7872
Summer art and clay camps for ages 5-15. Campers will travel through a wide range of media, rotating between two different classrooms and two different teaching artists. Children will learn the art processes, explore the basic art concepts and skills, and learn the proper care for art tools and materials. Our summer camp art teachers use selected weekly themes to create hands-on art experiences that focus on the learning process as well as the final works of art.
For a complete list of camps visit www.tbparenting.com