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News Release: $3.9M U.S. Department of Education Grant to Expand Arts for PGCPS Elementary Students

February 8, 2022
For Immediate Release

Office of Communications

UPPER MARLBORO — A five-year, $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education will expand arts integrated programs for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) kindergarten through third-grade students. Led by Arts for Learning Maryland, the new Start with the Art program will be developed in collaboration with PGCPS, WolfBrown and West Chester University.

Start with the Art will establish and sustain collaboration between classroom teachers and Arts for Learning teaching artists to plan and deliver lessons that support student creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills, including re-engaging students in the classroom following educational disruption precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The PGCPS Department of Creative and Performing Arts has enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Arts for Learning Maryland for many years,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer. “This collaboration will support both our educators and youngest learners through arts integration experiences providing alternative, creative, and engaging instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners.”

Start with the Art will incorporate four arts-integrated instructional strategies demonstrated to foster academic achievement and socioemotional development: arts to foster student engagement; arts experiences to allow students to experience a wider range of emotional experience than is often possible in regular classroom activities; leveraging student experiences of setbacks and failure in artistic work to develop perseverance; and capitalizing on student collaborative work to foster positive peer relationships.

Start with the Art will begin in early 2022 with recruiting the initial cohort of schools, classroom teachers, teaching artists, and instructional coaches who will participate in the pilot. 

As part of the initiative, teachers will participate in a Training Institute offered as an extension of the Prince George’s Artist Teaching Institute, a long running, highly-respected summer professional development experience. 

This grant is a testament to our artists, staff, and board, as well as the powerful work happening within our community. It recognizes the two strategies that have been at the heart of our Summer Arts for Learning Academy - collaborative lesson planning and co-teaching - and that has resulted in academic and personal growth for nearly 9,000 students at Title I schools,” said Stacie Sanders Evans, president and CEO of Arts for Learning Maryland. “Start with the Art will build additional evidence of the transformational impact that our work has on children so that even more children will have access to this kind of learning in the future.“


About Arts for Learning Maryland

Started in Baltimore in 1950, Young Audiences is the nation’s largest arts-in-education provider. As the Maryland affiliate, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning (YA) is devoted to enriching the lives and education of Maryland’s youth through educational and culturally diverse arts programs. Through Young Audiences, professional artists from all disciplines partner with leaders and schools for over 7,000 hands-on arts learning experiences that reach more than 190,000 Maryland students annually. Young Audiences envisions a Maryland where the arts are valued for their capacity to transform lives, and where every student is immersed in opportunities to imagine, to create, and to realize their full potential.