Council Renews Grant for Middle School Dance Program

Sixth-graders at Conniston Community Middle School again will receive arts instruction this year from faculty of Palm Beach Atlantic University's School of Music and Fine Arts Preparatory Department, thanks to a grant from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

PBA faculty member Jin Young Lee teaches a native dance of Korea to sixth-graders in the World Cultures class at Conniston Community Middle School.

The educational program, directed by Associate Professor of Dance Dr. Kathleen Klein, began last year as a Building Learning Communities through the Arts and Culture Pilot Project. Through the program, Dr. Klein and PBA faculty members used dance to teach correlations that exist in various diverse cultures around the world.

The Cultural Council awarded the project a $17,000 matching grant for its first year. The matching grant award for projects entering their second year is $8,750.

"I am thrilled to have been awarded a Building Learning Communities through Arts and Culture grant for a second year," said Dr. Klein, who also serves as chair of the University's dance department. "Our teaching artists and academic teachers now fully understand the scope of the BLCTAC program and are willing to share knowledge and mentorship from their prior sessions, resulting in richer and more meaningful experiences for all. On behalf of the PBA teaching artists and the Conniston Middle School teaching team, I'd like to express my sincere appreciation the Council's confidence in our innovative program."

Conniston Middle School is a neighbor of PBA's Athletic Campus. This project was one of three that received Building Learning Communities through the Arts and Culture awards this year. The Young Singers of the Palm Beaches will partner with Carver Middle School and use music as an arts integration tool. In addition, Resource Depot will partner with Roosevelt Middle School and use visual art as their arts integration device. This is the first year of that collaboration.

The program receives support from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts and State of the Arts license plate sales.

Also as part of the grant, the Cultural Council is offering a series of professional development workshops to arts and cultural organizations, education administrators, classroom teachers, art teachers, artists and teaching artists. These workshops are being led by Dr. Gail Burnaford, an expert in arts integration. She is a professor of curriculum, culture and educational inquiry at Florida Atlantic University.

Category Tag(s): 09/2010 General News