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Angel Oak awarded SmART Literacy Grant!

ArtsNow Learning (ArtsNow) has been selected to receive funding through the US Department of Education’s (USDOE) Assistance for Arts Education Development and Dissemination Grants Competition (AAEDD). ArtsNow has been awarded more than $2.27 million over four years to fund its smART Literacy! project in four elementary schools in both Georgia and South Carolina.

ArtsNow’s smART Literacy! initiative will deliver professional development and job- embedded training in literacy-based arts integration to Angel Oak Elementary School in Charleston County School District, as well as Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools’ Garrison School for the Arts, Heard Elementary School, and Marshpoint Elementary School. ArtsNow’s curriculum consultants will work with 124 educators to improve their ability to effectively integrate various art forms with their literacy-focused content. The project will benefit more than 2,300 students in kindergarten through 5th grades, improving students’ reading level and writing skills, while also increasing engagement and enjoyment of learning. In the latter half of the project, 24 lead teachers will serve as dissemination experts, providing peer mentoring and welcoming peer observations from other elementary teachers within their respective districts. Through demonstration lessons, videos of exemplary lesson delivery, and co-teaching between project teachers and dissemination teachers, the highly effective instructional strategies taught through this project will be expanded to other classrooms across the districts with expertise sustained at each of the project schools.

“I am overjoyed by this award, which will allow ArtsNow Learning to work closely with schools in the Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina regions to advance teaching and learning through the arts,” said ArtsNow’s President and CEO, Pamela Walker. “We look forward to positively impacting students, teachers, and school communities, while growing and deepening the reach of ArtsNow Learning!” Notably, ArtsNow is one of three Young Audiences Arts for Learning affiliates to be awarded AAEDD grants for FY18, among just 22 winning projects.

“This prestigious recognition is a testament to ArtsNow’s track record of transforming school communities through quality professional learning experiences in arts integration,” said David A. Dik, National Executive Director of Young Audiences. “We are grateful for the USDOE’s investment in pioneering programs to advance the arts-in- education field, including ArtsNow’s smART Literacy!”

The AAEDD Grants Competition specifically supports projects that develop, disseminate, and integrate high-quality, effective arts-based instructional materials and educational programming, including online resources, in multiple arts disciplines that effectively (1) increase access to standards-based arts education; (2) integrate standards-based arts education into other subjects as part of a well-rounded education; and (3) improve students’ academic performance, including their knowledge and skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.