L.A. Inner City Kids Get Arts

Twice a week, students from inner-city public schools in Los Angeles are bused to a center for arts programs where they put aside reading, writing and arithmetic and get a dose of music, painting and dancing. CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports.

Some school districts are reversing decades of cuts and canceled programs to bring back art education.

For the children, the curriculum is an excuse to have fun during school hours. But school officials say the arts give students a boost in other subjects.

"Children that are involved in the arts do better in math and science and social science and language," says Bob Bates of Inner City Arts.

"One of the most important ways art helps a student is in the activity of concentration," he explains.

"They are focused and concentrating for one hour solid on one activity so they are learning to focus the energy of theirÂ…feelings and their potential," he adds.

Researchers recently found that grades and standardized test scores went up, especially among low-income students, when they had access to art programs.

They also found that student self-esteem rose. So using a paintbrush could result in higher grades when it's time to hit the books.