by Mark Geller
Education sets the foundation for future success for New Mexico’s youth; however, a well-rounded education is not complete without arts education. Arts education plays a fundamental role in academic excellence, as well as in creating an increased interest in other academic subjects.
To enhance the educational experience of New Mexico students and to cultivate a love of arts and learning, National Dance Institute of New Mexico incorporates arts education in public elementary schools through dance. Teaching students our Core Four values — work hard, do your best, never give up and be healthy — NDI New Mexico enriches the educational experience for children and helps them to achieve academic success.
NDI New Mexico’s work is making a difference in the lives of New Mexico’s youth. Having been involved with NDI New Mexico for the past four years, I have been proud to witness the important contributions made to students and communities across the state in an effort to make their futures brighter.
I am excited to announce the most recent program analysis conducted by the University of New Mexico’s Prevention Research Center of NDI New Mexico’s advanced training students and their peers showed that overall, students who participated in NDI New Mexico Advanced Training programs had fewer absences during the school year, statistically higher GPAs and higher odds of scoring in the proficient or advanced range when testing for the New Mexico Standards-Based Assessment in both math and reading, compared with peer students who did not participate.
Not only do NDI New Mexico programs give a noticeable boost to the education system in the state, but they positively impact children beyond the classroom, equipping them with life lessons and increasing their levels of self-confidence.
“Communities see the positive impact, too, as NDI New Mexico students are happy, healthy and succeeding in academics. Our programs begin early in the child’s education, helping to make them well-rounded, which leads to well-rounded young adults who will make lasting impacts on their communities and our state as a whole.”
It is an incredible experience to directly enhance a child’s life. And, as we celebrate our 25th year, we’re honored to have had the opportunity to serve more than 110,000 students in our organization’s history. As we look forward to the next 25 years and beyond, it is our hope that community members and schools will continue their involvement and support.
By supporting NDI New Mexico’s programs, you are making a direct and impactful difference in communities, families, schools and, of course, the lives of children. What we’re teaching every day will have an impact on these children for the rest of their lives, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the work that has been done in the past 25 years and the work still to come.
Marc Geller is the chairman of NDI New Mexico board of directors. He lives in Santa Fe.