$1.2 Million in Grants Awarded to Train Arts Educators Serving High-Poverty Schools

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$1.2 Million in Grants Awarded to Train Arts Educators Serving High-Poverty Schools

July 31, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of more than $1.2 million in grants to school districts in California, Florida, Nevada and New York to train arts educators serving high-poverty schools.

Under the Arts in Education-Professional Development for Arts Educators program, the funds will support high-quality model training programs in elementary and secondary education for music, dance, drama, media arts, or visual arts. The grants are especially targeted at schools with students from low-income backgrounds.

"Creating by doing is a uniquely powerful way to learn. That's why I think a high-quality arts education is absolutely critical to providing all students with a world-class education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The study of the arts can both significantly boost student achievement and give students a reason to look forward to coming to school. All children should have arts-rich schools."

The grant recipients include:

  • CA-North Highlands, Twin Rivers Unified School District, $348,564.
  • FL-Lee County, School District of Lee County, $257,835.
  • NV-Las Vegas, Clark County School District, $296,753. And,
  • NY-New York City, Community School District #25, $353,960

In California, the Twin Rivers Unified School District will use the funds to support its DRIVE 4 ARTS program serving not only Twin Rivers, but the Sacramento City Unified School District, as well. The program will involve training more than 150 personnel in about 25 schools, serving 15,000 K-12 students.

In Florida, the Lee County School District intends to use its grant for Project AIM (Arts Integration for Motivation). The effort will target high-poverty students as well as students who are low performing in reading and mathematics at four schools – one K-8, one middle and two high schools. Together, the schools enroll more than 4,500 students.

In Nevada, the Clark County School District will initially devote its funds to eight K-12 high-poverty schools, including four elementary, two middle and two high schools. By year three of the program, the trained staff will eventually train other staff in numerous other high-poverty schools to plan and deliver integrated instruction. The number of students to be directly served is estimated at 5,000 in the first two years and will increase to about 80,000 in year three.

In New York City, Community School District #25 will head a consortium of schools in the Bronx and Queens engaged in the Arts Learning Leads to Literacy Project. It will focus on seven charter and seven public schools serving about 3,700 high-need and high-poverty students. The professional development will involve workshops and in-classroom modeling both during the school year and each summer.

The U.S. Education Department’s Arts in Education-Professional Development for Arts Educators program is administered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement.