Mayor announces $1 million state grant to help restore the arts in Sacramento County schools
A $1 million grant state grant awarded in December to the Sacramento County Office of Education with the support of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg will help expose thousands of children to the arts by training teachers in arts education.
Funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant will fuel the development of a county-wide effort to reinvigorate arts education in the 13 school districts in and around the City of Sacramento.
This new grant marks a significant early success for the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium, a partnership formed last spring by Mayor Steinberg, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, all county school superintendents, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and the non-profit group Friends of the Arts.
“Our children have a need to express themselves through painting, dance, acting, singing and other art forms, but they have far fewer opportunities to do so than many of us had in our youth,” Mayor Steinberg said. “If we don’t expose them to these experiences and provide instruction in the various disciplines, they won’t grow up to be the artists, creatives and art patrons of the future.”
“Arts education is essential to developing the next generation of artists and arts audiences,” said Superintendent Gordon. “Our students have a demonstrated need for more access to art education. Right now, there’s a lack of access.”
The project will be led by the Sacramento County Office of Education and is designed to help each of the 13 participating school districts identify arts leaders in their teaching staffs and to prepare their individual plans to incrementally restore arts education from pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. Selected lead teachers will receive the support needed to earn a Visual and Performing Arts Credential and will, in turn, help train other teachers learning to integrate the arts into their teaching of other subject matter. Funds will also be provided to a number of Sacramento’s non-profit arts organizations to improve their capacity to provide more support in the schools and in the various visual and performing arts venues around the City.
“This grant will help us develop a more creative ecosystem for our students in Sacramento County.” Dr. L. Steven Winlock, Executive Director, School of Education and Arts Coordinator. “This need is most acute for students eligible for free or reduced lunches.”