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Local Schools Get Huge Art And Music Lift

Two Colleton County schools have received an arts-based grant to help boost their individual after-school programs and arts classes.

Northside Elementary and Cottageville Elementary have each received a $18,000 Distinguished Performing Arts Grant. The funds will change the way that art is taught at the schools by offering more than six different genres of hands-on art classes.

According to Cottageville Elementary School Principal Janis Headden, the grant is going to drastically change the way that students at Cottageville experience art. Cottageville’s students are now learning art with tempera paints, recyclable materials and clay. With the new grant, students will have separate classes in different avenues of art.

“It is very exciting to be able to introduce our students to new art experiences. In music, students will learn about ukuleles, drums and other instruments,” Headden said. In art, students will learn about ceramics and printmaking while experiencing new painting and drawing techniques. Students at Cottageville will also study theater through the grant.

“With funding being limited in our area, I was looking over ideas during the summer as to what we could do for music and art,” Cottageville art teacher Kayla Greb said. She recalled a grant that her previous district received and decided to team together with the music and art teachers from Northside Elementary to apply for the Distinguished Arts Program.

The grant entailed a three-year strategic plan for how the funding would be used.

According to Greb the majority of the funding for this year will be spent to get materials, although some funding will be used to provide training to art teachers this summer. No additional teachers will be hired at the schools through the grant.

“I am so excited to see the kids experience printmaking and different types of paints they have never used before. I am excited to see them use the instruments that Mr. Stoudenmire will get. I am also excited that the teachers will get to go to a class to learn new things to bring back to the students,” Greb said.

The grant was a collaborative effort. “The administration was so helpful with the grant. Mrs. Headden was amazing and she trusted me to do a three-year art strategic plan,” Greb said.
D.A.P. can be reapplied for each year. However the school must show how the funding has helped implement the previous year’s strategic plan. Greb said and if they receive the grant again next year, they hope to take a grade level to a live dance performance.

Jenny Bunton is the art teacher at Northside Elementary.

The grants were awarded by the S.C. Department of Education as part of the Arts Curricular Grants. In the 2016-2017 school year, funds totaling about $1.3 million were distributed to schools across the Palmetto State as part of the program.

In other recent school news:
● The District’s After-School Robotics Program officially began on Sept. 18. The program is happening at each of the district’s elementary schools this year.
● The District’s Educator for a Day community-based program will be held on Nov. 16. during American Education Week.
● The Colleton County Adult Education program now has 47 adult learners enrolled in the current school year. The program helps adults in Colleton County to earn their diplomas/GED’s through courses offered by the school district. All students are required to take an Adult Basic Education test once their courses are completed.

Art Teacher Kayla Greb and Music Teacher Ken Stoudenmire from Cottageville Elementary School receive DAP funding for music and arts programs. Photo submitted

Heather Walters (1410 Posts)