TFAC awards BIG funding to area teachers
The Tryon Fine Arts Center’s (TFAC) Arts in Education committee gave away BIG funds during a reception Wednesday, Aug. 21 to teachers prepping to take innovative art programs to their students this school year.
The Be Inspired Grant (B.I.G.) Program, launched earlier this year, was created with the focus of providing teachers with more resources to create programming to engage youth in new ways through art.
SueZ Truitt, who TFAC staff credit as the brainchild of the program, said inspiration came from an article in The Washington Post that lists 10 life skills learned through the arts. Those skills include creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, non-verbal communication, receiving constructive feedback, collaboration, dedication and accountability.
“We are pleased to create this program in support of our teachers and creativity in the classroom,” said Truitt.
A total of 21 submissions were evaluated on a point system giving consideration to each potential program’s impact on students, creativity, activity and goals, budget, relevance to the arts and presentation.
Of those 21 grant applicants, 15 programs from Polk County and District One schools were awarded up to $500 a piece.
“Thank you for your dedication to our students. We truly understand the value of the arts and want to support your efforts,” TFAC Arts in Education director Marianne Carruth said to the teachers present at Wednesday’s reception.
Campobello-Gramling teacher Jessica Pym’s project titled, “The Wheels on the Bus,” focuses on connecting students with artists.
“Our aim is to take every student out to a field trip or bring field trips to the students. With this money some of my students will be able to attend a special band camp at Limestone College, we hope to bring others to performances at this very fine arts center and then we have a steel drum performer who we hope to bring to the kids,” Pym said. “We just want to make sure our students have the opportunity to be exposed to all types of arts.”
Polk County Schools Superintendent Bill Miller said though Polk has not been forced to cut arts programs with recent budget cuts, he knows other systems that have done so.
“The arts community has always been so supportive of arts in our schools,” Miller said. “And at a time when North Carolina seems to be going in the other direction in terms of financing arts programs, this is critical. We haven’t had to cut our programs, but money for anything above and beyond is always so valuable.”
Programs receiving funds include:
The Wheels on the Bus – Educator Jessica Pym, Campobello-Gramling
Getting the “Arts” of Reading – Educator Colleen Stutts, Campobello-Gramling
Young Illustrators – Educator Gigi D’Ambrosio, Inman Elementary
It’s Banjo Pickin’ Time – Educator Robert B. Nelson, Inman Intermediate
Catching a Wave of Art – Educator Julia Snyder, New Prospect Elementary
Project DRUMS – Educator Denise Kennedy, Polk County Middle
Shakespeare in the Classroom – Educator Jeanne Burgin, Polk County Middle
Leaving Your Mark – Educator Langlee Garrett, Polk County Middle
Poetry Café – Educator Sherrie Ford, Polk Central
Poetry Books – Educator Andrea Walter, Polk Central
Paper to Literacy – Educator Lisa Penrod, Polk Central
Mini-Masterpieces – Educator Ginger Rackley, Polk Central
Clay Creations – Educator Monica Barber, Sunny View