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School Readiness

Every year, Sitar Arts Center helps hundreds of students prepare for school—whether it is Kindergarten, back-to-school after the summer or college.

Ready for Kindergarten

Studies show that during the critical early years of life, the arts play an important role in children’s cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional development. Sitar’s early childhood music, art, dance, and movement classes engage children in these different art forms.  The classes also help stimulate memory ability, enhance verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and promote building relationships with others. These are all necessary skills to be ready for Kindergarten.


Many students in the summer lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math skills. Students from low-income families also lose more than two months in reading (whereas students from high-income families gain in reading). More than half the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income families is due to unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Sitar helps close this gap by offering six week all-day Camp Sitar where students hone their reading and writing skills, use their creativity, and build self-esteem. To help make Camp Sitar a success, we employed 50 teen interns through the Summer Youth Employment Program. In this summer program teen interns developed workforce skills to prepare them for life as adults.


Sitar Arts Center also helps prepare students for college. Studies show that students who participate in the arts have higher graduation rates. We are very proud that 100 percent of Sitar seniors graduate from high school and almost all go on to college. While some students study the arts, Sitar gives students the tools necessary to be successful in college and beyond.