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Georgia Department of Education dedicates $270,000 to expand fine arts education in rural schools

Georgia Department of Education dedicates $270,000 to expand fine arts education in rural schools

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office, 404-463-4246, mfrick@doe.k12.ga.us

-Follow GaDOE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @GeorgiaDeptofEd

November 21, 2019 – The Georgia Department of Education is awarding a total of $270,000 to rural school districts to help them expand the fine arts opportunities available to their students, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today.

Nineteen rural districts are receiving stART grants, which can be used to create or expand arts initiatives that significantly improve students’ access to the arts. The grants are part of GaDOE’s broader Partnership for Rural Growth initiative, which seeks to expand the resources available to public school districts in rural Georgia.

“We know that the fine arts provide significant academic and non-academic benefits for all students,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Arts education helps children develop language and fine-motor skills. It keeps them engaged in their education. It equips them with the creativity, ingenuity, and resilience needed to succeed in the modern workforce. At the Georgia Department of Education we are committed to providing the resources necessary to provide fine arts opportunities to all students.”

Through the stART grants, GaDOE is taking advantage of the flexibility offered within the Every Student Succeeds Act to use some federal funds to support arts learning and other programs that provide a well-rounded education to students. This is the second round of funding provided through the grants; the first round was awarded to twenty school districts in 2018. Click here for a summary of work completed during the first grant.

“The GaDOE start grant has had an amazing impact on the visual arts and band programs at our school,” said Alisha Montgomery, an art teacher at Willie J. Williams Middle School in Colquitt County, one of the districts that received a stART grant last year. “Through the funds we received…we were able to have more instruments available for student use and were able to customize the visual arts class, by using laptops and 21st century skills, to individual students’ abilities.”

GaDOE has also worked to expand fine arts instruction by hiring a full-time fine arts specialist at the state level, creating new virtual fine arts courses, refreshing standards, increasing the number of creative-industry-aligned high school arts courses, offering professional learning on arts integration for teachers of all content areas, and developing a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) certification for school districts and a Fine Arts Diploma Seal for graduates.

All eligible school districts were given the opportunity to apply for the stART grant funding. For the purposes of the grant, a rural school district is any district currently eligible for funding under the federal Rural Education Achievement Program.

Districts Awarded Funding 

School District

School

Funding

Appling County

Altamaha Elementary School

$10,000

Baldwin County

Baldwin High School; Oak Hill Middle School

$10,000

Brooks County

Brooks County Middle School

$10,000

Brooks County

Delta Innovative School

$10,000

Colquitt County

Colquitt County High School

$10,000

Colquitt County

Willie J. Williams Middle School

$10,000

Cook County

Cook High School

$10,000

Cook County

Cook Middle School

$10,000

Echols County

Echols County Elementary School; Echols County Middle School

$10,000

Fannin County

Blue Ridge Elementary School

$10,000

Gilmer County

Clear Creek Elementary School

$10,000

Gilmer County

Clear Creek Middle School

$10,000

Gilmer County

Mountain View Elementary School

$10,000

Grady County

Cairo High School

$10,000

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Middle School

$10,000

Jenkins County

Jenkins County Elementary School

$10,000

Laurens County

Southwest Laurens Elementary School

$10,000

McDuffie County

Thomson-McDuffie Middle School; Thomson High School

$10,000

Meriwether County

Mountain View Elementary School

$10,000

Meriwether County

Manchester High School

$10,000

Pierce County

Pierce County Middle School

$10,000

Quitman County

Quitman County Elementary School

$10,000

Quitman County

Quitman County High School

$10,000

Taylor County

Taylor County Upper Elementary School

$10,000

Thomas County

Thomas County Middle School

$10,000

Thomas County

Thomas County Central High School

$10,000

Washington County

TJ Elder Middle School

$10,000

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