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District to Receive $50,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

SARASOTA COUNTY, June 11, 2020 – The National Endowment for the Arts’ Chairman, Mary Anne Carter, has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for the 2020 fiscal year. This includes an Art Works award of $50,000 to Sarasota County Schools for Social Emotional Learning Through Arts Integration. This is one of over 1,000 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.

The district’s Social Emotional Learning Through Arts Integration project will focus on professional development for elementary school teachers. The project will cover three arts integrated strategies to meet curricular and social-emotional goals: Acting Right, Reading Art Across the Curriculum, and Dancing the Hero’s Journey. All Sarasota County teachers will be able to attend bimonthly workshops using arts integration to develop students’ social-emotional core competencies of self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision making, social awareness, and relationship skills. Additionally, 25 elementary school teachers will be offered a deeper training – complete with coaching from nationally-renowned arts integration consultants – to help them implement and adapt each strategy to meet the needs of diverse learners.

“These arts integrated strategies are student-centered and offer pathways to develop self-awareness, confidence, compassion, and collaboration skills,” commented Jessica DiLorenzo, arts integration specialist for Sarasota County Schools. “Every child is capable of inspiring positive change in the world. The arts have the power to ignite innate creativity and a lifelong love of learning within each learner.”

Starting in January 2021, participants will work through the program with the school district’s Arts Integration Specialist, Jessica DiLorenzo, as well as the district’s Pupil Support Services department. There will also be opportunities for participants to collaborate with local teaching artists. Social Emotional Learning Through Arts Integration builds on the district’s existing NEA grant. Strategy Movers.