Students at 15 campuses will benefit from a $2 million, 5-year project designed to enhance arts education in Escambia County Public Schools (ECPS).
“The All in for the Arts” grant will grow a sustainable arts ecosystem that supports and develops students and teachers who champion the arts, leading to outcomes that extend beyond the four walls of the classroom,” declared ECPS Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith. This marks the tenth competitive grant that the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) has awarded the school district since 2010.
Improved access to resources and opportunities, in tandem with elevated instruction, will afford rich arts experiences for all students at seven elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, and two K-12 programs in the district. New extra-curricular tutoring and enrichment programs will provide learners avenues to hone their skills and further explore the arts. Expanded access to competitions and performances in myriad venues will motivate, inspire, and foster grit within young artists.
Through supervised, paid internship opportunities, skilled high school arts students will engage young arts students at project middle schools, assisting with instructional activities while gaining valuable work experience. “There are numerous outstanding arts educators in our schools who were once arts students here as well. Providing today’s talented juniors and seniors avenues to develop others’ artistic skills will return manifold benefits that surpass the lifespan of this 5-year grant,” said Joel Hollon, ECPS Grants Specialist and author of the grant.
Targeted professional learning opportunities will equip new and seasoned arts teachers with engaging strategies to deliver high-quality, standards-based instruction. Emphasis will be placed on building internal capacity by effecting a deliberate, self-sustaining culture that develops expert teachers who improve not only their own practice, but also the practice of their peers.
“Enhancing our current programs with professional learning and fine tuning a culture of excellence will elevate our students’ fine arts experiences in Escambia County Public Schools,” said ECPS Fine and Performing Arts Specialist Angela Barberi.
All in for the Arts will be implemented at Beulah, Blue Angels, Cook, Hellen Caro, Kingsfield, Navy Point, and Pleasant Grove Elementary Schools; Bailey, Beulah, and Brown-Barge Middle Schools; Escambia, Tate, and West Florida High Schools; Escambia Virtual Academy and Escambia Westgate.