Students who took four years of arts classes in high school scored an average of 92 points higher on their SATs than students who took only one half year or less.

The College Board



98% of school administrators believe that theatre programs strengthen student’s critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and leadership skills.

EdTA-Utah State University Survey of Theatre Education Programs in U.S. High Schools

for Students


Only 28% of public high schools in high poverty areas offer theatre instruction.

National Center for Education Statistics

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“Theatre allows you to feel things with the heart. I love theatre because it has the power to tell important stories, to move an audience, to connect people, and to make change.”

Sophia Willard-Van Sistine, high school Thespian
JumpStart Theatre

An essential component of a well-rounded education, theatre teaches critical 21st century life skills — collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.

The Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF) and its parent organization, the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), believe that every child in America deserves access to theatre in their school because theatre can directly and positively impact a student’s academic performance and career preparedness.

student Spotlight

“The impact of JumpStart Theatre on our students is an inspiration.”
Meet Za'Khyra

Theatre is not a hobby for the privileged few.

Middle school students perform during a 2016 JumpStart Theatre production at Dater High School in Cincinnati, OH.

Middle school students perform during a 2016 JumpStart Theatre production at Dater High School in Cincinnati, OH.

Many at-risk students, who stand to benefit the most from theatre education, have little to no access to theatre education. While there are nearly 26,000 K-12 school-based theatre programs throughout the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Education:

  • In 2008, African-American and Hispanic students had less than half the access to arts education as white students.
  • Only 28 percent of high schools in high poverty areas offer theatre instruction.
  • Only 4 percent of public elementary schools offer students opportunities to engage in theatre.

Discover How the Pathway Program Helps >

donor Spotlight

“We give to ETF because we believe every child should have access to arts education. Arts education provides students an opportunity to grow, to learn, and to gain confidence, communication skills, empathy, and compassion. The arts are a powerful tool to help our students create a brighter future.”
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From the Blog

Pathway program grant recipients in Atlanta Georgia Pathway Grants Support Racial Equity in School Theatre (11/30/2021) - Students in Atlanta and Cincinnati are the first recipients of a Pathway grant designed to harness the power of school…

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“I think there's a perception that the arts are secondary to core subjects like reading and math. But what the research would suggest is that by participating in theatre, students learn creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.”

— Julie Cohen Theobald, president, Educational Theatre Foundation

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