District One educators awarded “Be Inspired” grants

Published 10:00 pm Friday, September 9, 2016

Six teachers from Spartanburg School District One will be enhancing their students’ creativity throughout the year as recipients of the Tryon Fine Arts Center’s “Be Inspired Grant.” The following District One teachers wrote projects that were funded through the “Be Inspired” Grant program:

Rhetta Atkins, Campobello-Gramling School – Project: Carolina-Inspired Artworks

Gigi D’Ambrosio, Inman Elementary  – Project: Creative Cartoons: Integrating Art with Literature

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Cathey Stoney, Landrum High School – Project: Woodcarving: The Art of Subtraction

Colleen Stutts & Danielle Whitlow, Campobello-Gramling School – Project: Welcome to the Greek Market

Julia Sullivan, Holly Springs-Motlow Elementary – Project: Shout Out to Shakespeare!

These teachers put significant time and energy into supporting quality arts education programs that significantly improve student achievement, as well as student growth in the arts.  Each recipient received up to $500 in grant funding to go toward creative classroom projects involving elements of music, dance, sculpture, painting, drawing and other visual, literary, or performing arts.

This funding can be used for art supplies, software, performances, instruments, visiting artists or workshops in which students are directly involved. Subject areas are not limited to Fine Arts, and could be core subjects such as science or math taught using elements of the arts.

Cindy Riddle, coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts for District One explains, “In D1, we view the arts as equally as important as other subjects, not as an add on or a drop off class where the arts are treated as an activity. We support the Kennedy Center definition of arts integration, an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both. True integration is when subjects support each other, blend together, and allow students to make connections to improve their learning.  It’s a two-way street.”

In an effort to support teachers and creativity in the classroom, Tryon Fine Arts Center’s Arts in Education Committee works with businesses and individuals to award mini-grants for arts related projects to educators in Polk County and some schools in Greenville County and Spartanburg County.

– article submitted by Sandra Williams