14, 2014 — The Sarasota County Schools, through Any Given Child Sarasota, have
been selected by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) to receive a $1.2
million grant over four years to implement an initiative entitled Elevate with
Arts Integration, also known as Project Elevate. The grant, which is designed
to enhance teaching and learning through arts-integrated instruction in local
schools, was one of only 17 awarded nationwide by the USDOE this year as part
of its Professional Development Arts Educators Program.
Elevate aims to increase students’ academic performance in reading, writing,
math and science through arts-integrated instruction at four Title 1 elementary
schools in the Sarasota County School District. The schools participating in
the grant program are Atwater, Brentwood, Emma E. Booker and Tuttle elementary
schools. Funds will help second- through fifth-grade teachers at those schools
gain proficiency in developing and providing arts-integrated instruction.
I is a federally funded program designed to address the academic needs of
students, particularly in the areas of reading, writing, science and math.
Schools are designated as Title I based on the number of students eligible for
free or reduced-price meals.
are honored to receive this prestigious grant,” said Any Given Child Sarasota
Program Director Brian Hersh. “Project Elevate will enable Sarasota County
Schools and Any Given Child to continue developing innovative learning
practices in arts-integrated education that benefit thousands of students in
the district each year.”
Project Elevate, Any Given Child Sarasota will hire a full-time, experienced
arts integration specialist beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The
specialist will provide coaching, training and mentorship in creating and
teaching arts-integrated lesson plans at each of the four Title 1 schools
selected for the program. In total, more than 75 classroom and arts teachers,
as well as additional pre-service interns, will benefit from the program in its
first year alone.
equal importance, hundreds of students at the Title 1 schools involved in
Project Elevate will benefit from increased opportunities to engage with the
arts through enhanced arts-integrated instruction and arts experiences, in
addition to the arts instruction they already receive. Numerous studies have
shown that students who participate in the arts and arts-integrated learning
perform better academically and have lower dropout rates than students who do
not have such engagement with the arts.
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Center for Partnerships for
Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) will serve as the official evaluator for the
program, helping collect and analyze student learning outcomes, academic
performance results and other metrics. Dr. Brianne Reck, senior fellow and
executive director of Center for PAInT, says she and the faculty in USF
Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Education share the commitment of Any Given Child
Sarasota and Sarasota County Schools to transforming learning experiences for
children through the integration of the arts.
“We are thrilled
to be part of this groundbreaking work and to provide the evaluation expertise
that is critical to the project,” said Reck. “It is through the power of this
partnership that we support innovation that will make a difference in the lives
of our children and our community.”
Any Given Child
Sarasota is a partnership between the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts in Washington, DC, and Sarasota County Schools. The program is designed to
provide students with expanded and enhanced opportunities to benefit from the
arts in our community and quality arts education in all local schools.
working with the school district, local arts organizations and corporate and
private donors, Any Given Child Sarasota is helping build high-quality arts,
theater, music and dance programs in schools throughout Sarasota County; providing
access to theater and musical performances, museum visits and other arts
experiences for students; and securing funding to help teachers and schools
better integrate arts education into their curriculums.