In the News: Extra funding coming for visual and performing arts programs
Extra funding coming for visual and performing arts programs
Local school districts receive nearly $1 million each for educational supplies
MONTEREY COUNTY — A pair of local school districts are receiving some extra funding for their visual and performing arts programs starting next year.
The Monterey Peninsula Unified and the North Monterey County Unified school districts announced last week they had received a Student Support and Academic Enrichment competitive grant.
MPUSD is getting $859,147, while NMCUSD will receive $701,481. The districts were among 51 potential school districts and county offices of education statewide to get a total of $44 million.
Jaqui Hope, visual and performing arts coordinator at MPUSD said she was a little shocked that MPUSD received nearly $1 million because there were plenty of other worthy school districts or offices of education asking for funding, too.
“A lot times when you are hoping for a grant you know that there’s a good chance that they won’t give you the full amount that you requested and this was surprising in that they gave us the full amount,” Hope said.
The grant was provided by the California Department of Education to support activities in three areas, including well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students or effective use of technology.
This specific grant prioritized awards to applications that enhanced visual and performing arts education or implemented a comprehensive strategy to expand access to physical and mental health care.
“What this does is it gives us the supplies and the know-how to make our schools more well rounded, incorporating the arts and what they’re doing,” Hope said. “And just more exciting and interesting for the students, more engaging.”
North Monterey County Unified, in partnership with the Sunset Cultural Center and the Kennedy Performing Arts Center, is implementing a district-wide Arts Integration model to increase student engagement and promote academic achievement.
“We’re excited to have been awarded funding to expand and intensify our district wide arts integration program and that the amount award matched our request,” said Kari Yeater, superintendent at North Monterey County Unified School District.
Yeater said the district worked hard to write the grant application, which outlines a budget proposal for training over 250 teachers and administrators. The district will also provide demonstration lessons in the classroom that will both occur from January through September 2019.
At Monterey Peninsula Unified, the district will build on initial arts integration work at two of its Turnaround Arts schools – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: School of the Arts and Marina Vista Elementary Arts Academy – to develop a Multi-Tiered Support and Engagement through the Arts (MTSEA) initiative at nine schools.
According to MPUSD, the district intends to strengthen access and opportunities for a well-rounded education for all students by enhancing visual and performing arts education.
“Visual and performing arts are integral at MPUSD. We don’t view these as icing on the cake, but rather an essential ingredient to a well-rounded education. Today, we partner with more than 20 arts-based non-profits to offer art, music, dance and theater at all grade levels, and we’ve seen first-hand the benefits on student learning and school culture,” said PK Diffenbaugh, superintendent at MPUSD. “Ultimately, this funding allows us to deepen instruction, encourage parental engagement, and improve school climate.”
Priority was given to districts or county offices with the greatest need based on the number or percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced breakfast or lunch. Hope said the grant will cover plenty of arts education supplies from drums to paint.
“They’ll also be receiving instructions by teaching artist who will come into the classroom,” Hope said.
Hope said a focus on the grant is expanding the classroom teachers’ ability to incorporate the arts into whatever subject they teach. She said there’s a lot of teacher training that’ll be done by the professional teaching artist.
“Who are generally people that are professionals in their arena. Like, they might be directors or actors and they teach theater to these teachers,” Hope said.
Over the course of the grant, professional artist instructors will train and coach transitional kindergarten through eighth grade teachers in arts instruction and in integrating arts into core subjects, including language arts, math, science, and social studies.
The teachers will also receive 10 hours of intensive arts education integration and lesson planning from CSU Monterey Bay specialists and participate in 20 hours of arts curriculum planning workshops with artist instructors during a four-day Summer Institute.
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