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AISD Awarded $349,000 Grant to Help Strengthen Arts-Based Instruction in Title I Schools

AUSTIN, Texas—On Friday, Sept. 26, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Austin ISD the 2014 Professional Development for Arts Educators grant for specialized training of music teachers and enhanced fine arts coaching for general classroom teachers in Title I Pre K-12 schools.

“Words cannot express my deep gratitude for the incredible teamwork displayed by AISD and its partners,” Director of Fine Arts Greg Goodman said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Department of Education, Austin ISD and Project Creative Learning can become a national model for increased student engagement and positive academic outcomes through the arts.”

The $349,000 grant is renewable for three years and allows classroom teachers in Title I schools to participate in professional development, learning to employ drama, dance, visual arts and music-based instructional strategies to increase student engagement in core content areas, including English/language arts, Math, science and social studies.

“These federal funds will help ensure Austin students receive enriching and comprehensive arts education,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett. “As a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, I will continue to support initiatives that support our artistic community.”

Music teachers will engage in specialized training in the Kodály Concept of music education, which will develop and deepen students’ cognitive skills. The Kodály Concept is a Hungarian-based collection of best practices designed for teaching music in school settings.

Through this systematic campus-level support, students in Title I schools will benefit academically, with creative learning becoming a key component of their success.

Project Creative Learning is a joint effort of the Kodály Concept for Music Education and the Creative Learning Initiative, which seeks to provide an arts-rich education in AISD, as well as professional development and ongoing support for teachers in arts-based instruction strategies through the collaborative support between Austin ISD, the City of Austin, MINDPOP, local artists, businesses and philanthropic organizations.

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