NES puts Distinguished Arts Program Grant to good use | News | The Press and Standard

by | November 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: November 29, 2017 at 7:51 am

“Opportunities like this allow us to make
learning relevant
for our young children as we promote a love
for the arts.”
– Wilsey Hamilton,
Principal of NSE

By CINDY CROSBY
cindyc4@yahoo.com

Last August, Northside Elementary was named as a recipient of the Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) grant, sponsored by the South Carolina State Department of Education, and was awarded $18,000 to develop and implement arts initiatives in the school. Last Thursday evening during the monthly PTO meeting, third-grade Northside students showcased instruments and materials purchased through the grants during a multidisciplinary presentation.
The purpose of the DAP grant is to assist schools in developing and implementing arts initiatives that support and improve quality art education programs for students. Schools follow a rigorous selection process where they must provide a strategic arts plan that includes all arts forms — dance, music, theatre, and visual arts — over a three-year period.
Along with Northside Elementary, Cottageville Elementary was also selected as a recipient for the DAP grant.
According to Jennifer Bunton, who serves as Northside’s music teacher, the grant is being put to great use for her students. “I was overjoyed when we received this honor,” said Bunton. “This is a huge opportunity to benefit all the kids and teachers at Northside. This is the first time in our district any elementary school has received this grant.”
During the PTO meeting, students used instruments purchased through the grant, showing off brand new Orff xylophones and a recorder. “In the next few months other materials such as keyboards, ukuleles and other percussion instruments purchased through the grant will also be used,” said Bunton. “Our art teacher, Bob Carl, will also be using materials purchased through the grant in his classroom, as well as integrated into other subjects, and will be using them for props and materials to display throughout the year.”
Wilsey Hamilton, principal of Northside, stated she was excited about the grant, which gives students a chance to be exposed to musical instruments and have access to advance art materials at an early age.
“Our related arts teachers have a strategic plan in place to ensure we are maintaining a collaborative culture by infusing the arts into our core content areas,” said Hamilton. “Mr. Carl and Mrs. Bunton strongly encourage teachers in all grade levels to allow them to help bring concepts that our students are learning in science, social studies, ELA, and math to life while students are in art and music. Children love to make connections from one area to the next.
“Our goal is to make sure we engross our students in a multiplex of opportunities as we prepare them for the next level,” said Hamilton. “NES is grateful the grant allows our students a great advantage.”
All South Carolina K-12 public schools and school districts are eligible to apply for only one grant type — either an Innovative Arts Works grant, a Strategic Arts Planning grant, or a DAP grant under the ACIG program. According to information provided by the South Carolina Department of Education website, approximately 60 new DAP grant application opportunities are available for 2017-18 including eight awards for school districts and 52 awards for schools. The maximum DAP award to a school district is $40,000; the maximum DAP award to a school is $18,000.

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