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Arts-rich S.C. schools score above national mean in hope, engagement

Gallup research in 2018 shows arts’ impact on key indicators

This morning at the South Carolina Arts Advocacy Day breakfast, S.C. Arts Commission Education Director Ashley Brown released exciting new findings from a 2018 study that found high levels of engagement and hope in arts-rich South Carolina schools. The S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) and Palmetto State Arts Education (PSAE) partnered with internationally recognized analytics firm Gallup to participate in the annual Gallup Student Poll. It measures student engagement, hope, entrepreneurial aspirations, and career and financial literacy and, in the past 10 years, surveyed more than 6 million students. According to Gallup data from 2016, engaged and hopeful students are more than twice as likely to report they get excellent grades and are twice less likely to report they missed a lot of school than their actively disengaged peers. In each of the four indicators on the poll, the students in South Carolina’s arts-rich schools outperformed the national mean. The research also showed a direct correlation between a school’s length of time as a arts-rich and an increase in student engagement and hope. And most importantly, students surveyed in arts-rich schools with free/reduced lunch program participation of 75% or greater scored higher than the state and national mean. Brown said schools are considered arts-rich when they are “committed to the arts at the cellular level.” She said both Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project and Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) sites are required to have an arts strategic plan and, in both, the arts “are simply part of the fabric of the school.” SCAC and PSAE conducted the Gallup Student poll in arts-rich schools throughout South Carolina at a mixture of ABC Project and DAP sites. “This is the first time in its history the Gallup student poll has been used to look specifically at arts-rich environments, and it is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the connection between the arts and engagement,” Brown said.
The items on the Gallup Student Poll where students from S.C. arts-rich schools scored the highest above the national mean are:
  • The adults at my school care about me
  • I have at least one teacher who makes me feel excited about the future
  • I have a great future ahead of me
  • I know I will find a good job in the future
  • I will invent something that changes the world
  • I plan to start my own business
The arts are integral to a well-rounded education that allows students to achieve the knowledge, skills, and life and career characteristics outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. From creativity to problem solving, perseverance to critical thinking, learning in and through the arts is proven to equip students with the skills necessary to be engaged citizens. ABC Project and SC Arts Alliance submitted amendments and adjustments to H.3759, proposed by House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) and currently working its way through the S.C. House committee on education and public works, to ensure the arts are embraced and advanced to help every student achieve the standards set in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.
The findings from the Gallup Student Poll reinforce what those in the arts already know: From creativity to problem solving, critical thinking to perseverance, learning in and through the arts supports students as engaged and hopeful citizens of the world. This information will inform requests for additional funding in the arts, arts advocacy, and the role of the arts in education reform. This PDF of the findings from the Gallup Student Poll can be shared with community and education leaders, legislators, and educators. To learn more about this important research, visit https://www.palmettoartsed.org/gallup.html.

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 31

Though far from the only thing, grants are certainly among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.


GrantsThis week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult your county or discipline coordinator with questions.
  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • Jan. 15: ABC Advancement Grants (for schools and school districts seeking to implement standards-based arts curricula)
  • Jan. 15: AVI Grants letter of intent (encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures – a letter indicating intent to apply for the grant begins the process)

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC deadline page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult:
    • your county coordinator if you represent local organizations, businesses, or educational institutions, or
    • your discipline coordinator if you're an individual artist or serve the statewide population.

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 24

Though far from the only thing, grants are certainly among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.


GrantsThis week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult your county or discipline coordinator with questions.
  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • Jan. 15: ABC Advancement Grants (for schools and school districts seeking to implement standards-based arts curricula)
  • Jan. 15: AVI Grants letter of intent (encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures – a letter indicating intent to apply for the grant begins the process)

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC deadline page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult:
    • your county coordinator if you represent local organizations, businesses, or educational institutions, or
    • your discipline coordinator if you're an individual artist or serve the statewide population.

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 17

Though far from the only thing, grants are certainly among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.


GrantsThis week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult your county or discipline coordinator with questions.
  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • Jan. 15: ABC Advancement Grants (for schools and school districts seeking to implement standards-based arts curricula)
  • Jan. 15: AVI Grants letter of intent (encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures – a letter indicating intent to apply for the grant begins the process)

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC deadline page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult:
    • your county coordinator if you represent local organizations, businesses, or educational institutions, or
    • your discipline coordinator if you're an individual artist or serve the statewide population.

Forum on fixing S.C. schools to tour state

The Post and Courier recently published a groundbreaking investigative series, Minimally Adequate, spotlighting the disparities among South Carolina’s schools and persistent failures to improve students’ readiness for college and the workforce.

"Minimally Adequate: Fix South Carolina Schools" is set to take the conversation statewide with community events in Charleston, Florence, Columbia and Greenville.

Each event will explore South Carolina’s educational challenges in depth, bringing together lawmakers, educators, interest groups and business leaders to discuss the repercussions of minimally adequate education, especially the impact on the Palmetto State’s workforce. One in three South Carolina students graduating high school is unprepared for most jobs.

Award-winning reporters from The Post and Courier will moderate a panel of education advocates in each community including South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President Ted Pitts, Francis Marion University President Fred Carter, Public Education Partners President and CEO Ansel Sanders and many others. Panelists will provide insight from their individual sectors including business, education and advocacy.


Dates and locations

January 3 | 4:30 p.m. Trident Technical College in Charleston

January 14 | 4:30 p.m. Francis Marion University in Florence

January 16 | 6 p.m. Columbia Chamber of Commerce in Columbia

February 11 | 4:30 p.m. Riley Institute at Furman in Greenville

Go here for reservation information.

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 10

Though far from the only thing, grants are certainly among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays with deadlines on the horizon, "Grants Roundup" highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what's coming later in increments.


GrantsThis week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult your county or discipline coordinator with questions.
  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

  • Jan. 15: ABC Advancement Grants (for schools and school districts seeking to implement standards-based arts curricula)
  • Jan. 15: AVI Grants letter of intent (encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures – a letter indicating intent to apply for the grant begins the process)

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC deadline page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult:
    • your county coordinator if you represent local organizations, businesses, or educational institutions, or
    • your discipline coordinator if you're an individual artist or serve the statewide population.

Teachers become students at SCAAHC’s Summer Teacher Institute

A group of 23 public school teachers from across South Carolina reversed roles and became students recently when they participated in the “2018 School Desegregation in South Carolina” Summer Teacher Institute. The institute was sponsored by the S.C. African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC), whose mission is to identify and promote the preservation of historic sites, structures, buildings, and culture of the African American experience in South Carolina and to assist and enhance the efforts of the S.C. Department of Archives and History. “The five-day Summer Institute’s purpose was to provide teachers with additional resources they can use to enhance their teaching of the state’s history that reflects African American heritage,” said Jannie Harriot, vice chair of SCAAHC and executive director of its fundraising arm, the S.C. African American Heritage Foundation (SCAAHF). “The ... institute [helps] teachers create lesson plans for grades K-12 based on the public school desegregation lawsuits in Darlington and Clarendon counties: Stanley v. the Darlington County Board of Education and Briggs v. Elliot, respectively,” Harriot said. “So, we applied to the S.C. Arts Commission for a grant to conduct this institute and to bring teachers together to write the plans.” Wallace Foxworth is an eighth-grade social studies instructor who teaches South Carolina history at Johnakin Middle School in Marion. He said the institute expanded his understanding of how school desegregation happened. Meeting people involved with those cases, such as Nathaniel Briggs, the son of Harry Briggs, Sr., lead plaintiff in Briggs v. Elliott, and Joseph DeLaine, Jr., whose father was also involved in the case was inspirational. “I wanted to gain a better view of what is out there beside what we find in the textbooks,” Foxworth said. “The textbooks have a certain slant on history, and sometimes the slant is misguided concerning the contributions of African Americans in history. To be a more effective history teacher and bring more balance to history, this is something I feel is necessary.” In addition to learning about the school desegregation cases, institute participants also learned about other facets of South Carolina African American history that they can incorporate into lesson plans. Mary Hoyt, a music teacher who teaches strings to fifth- and sixth-grade students at Chapin Intermediate School in Chapin said that she already has some ideas about how to incorporate information she learned about jazz great and Cheraw native Dizzy Gillespie into lesson plans. “I just love history,” Hoyt said. “I am not from South Carolina and I find South Carolina to be a fascinating place with so many layers of history. I welcome the chance to learn more and enrich my classroom for my students. I feel privileged to be here.” The teachers will submit 20 lesson plans that will go into a teacher’s guide that the S.C. Department of Education will disseminate across the state for teachers to use in their classrooms, Harriot said. Teachers who participated in the institute included Jasmine Govan, Stephanie Gold, and Kay Ingram of Richland District 1; Melinda Hanna, Allison Geddings, Joceline Murdock, and Ashley Rogers of Darlington County School District; Andrea Walker from Allendale County Schools; Wallace Foxworth from Marion County Schools; Amy Robinson of the Beaufort School District; Mary Hoyt, Lexington/Richland School District Five; Tracy Carter, Lisa Hyman, and Michael Jenkins from Florence District 1; Wonda Hilliard of Greenville County Schools; Brian Day of Calhoun County Schools; Barbara Bodison from Berkeley County Schools; Coastal Carolina University English Professor Dr. Veronica Gerald; South Carolina State University student Enifinette; and retired educator Patricia Evans Hall. Institute presenters included:

  • Jean Grosser, professor of art, Coker College
  • Joy Young, S.C. Arts Commission
  • Dr. Larry D. Watson, professor of history, South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Bobby Donaldson, professor of history, University of South Carolina and the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at USC
  • Dr. Valinda Littlefield, director of African American studies, University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Louis Venters, associate professor of history, Francis Marion University
  • Dr. Jennifer Heusel, assistant professor of communication, Coker College
  • Brian Gandy, Darlington County Historical Commission
  • Felicia Flemming McCall, Southern African American Heritage Center
  • Cecil Williams, photographer
  • Joseph DeLaine, Briggs v. Elliott
  • Nathaniel Briggs, Briggs v. Elliott
  • James Felder, historian
  • Alada Shinault Small, historian and Charleston tour guide

SCAC grant supports Claflin campers’ ‘Aladdin Jr.’ performance

Here's a brief grantee spotlight from The Times & Democrat:

Claflin University is hosting an intensive residential camp designed to provide high-level artistic instruction to youth entering grades six through 10 in a college environment. It is funded through a S.C. Arts Commission arts education grant.

The camp will conclude on Saturday, June 16 with a musical theater production of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.”

Claflin University Intensive (CUSAI) Residential Camp participants are taking classes led by college professors in acting, art (graphic design and jewelry making), dance, music and video production while preparing for the culminating musical theatre production featuring music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin, and book by Chad Beguelin.

Participants are also mentored by college students majoring in one of the artistic disciplines.

Go here to read the full story!

Cane Bay Elementary puts SCAC grant to work

The Hub wants to let you in on a little secret: We get a tad giddy when we get to put together posts like this. Grants are one of the four ways we accomplish our mission at the South Carolina Arts Commission. Through the current fiscal year, this agency is proud to have sent a total of almost $77 million in grant money to South Carolina artists, arts organizations, and schools since 1967 to make life more enjoyable and rounded for everybody here. Everybody. So when a grantee is given the spotlight because of the way its grant is put to work, yes – we get happy. It's tangible. It shows, in plain view, the importance of public support for the arts. One such example is Cane Bay Elementary School in Summervillewhich received a $9,730 grant to become an Arts in Basic Curriculum Project site and make arts experiences more diverse and accessible to its students. Based on the story today in the Summerville Journal Scene, they've done just that:

By enhancing the hallways with display boards, collaborative art projects and sensory panels, students traveling from class to class can now interact with the arts in new ways.

Students, staff and parents have been invited to participate in a community rock garden project that will be installed in front of the school this summer.

Cane Bay Elementary has also started its own Creative Cobras Art Club for students in third and fourth grade and enhanced their choral program by utilizing props and lighting for the first time.

Read the full story here.

Arts in schools: What difference do they make?

Last week, the South Carolina Senate passed a version of the state budget (previously approved by the House, whose Ways & Means Committee begins the process) that increased arts funding by $350,000.  Not to be outdone, the Senate appropriated an additional $100,000 specifically for arts education. Both events are welcome news at the S.C. Arts Commission, and we're thankful for the support from both chambers of the General Assembly. They voted 159-2 on aggregate in favor of the budget that includes this funding. The differences will need to be worked out in conference committee and then approved before being presented to Gov. Henry McMaster for his signature.


So, why'd they do it? Do the arts really make a difference in education? Research included in a new book could have some answers, including this key passage:

The problem is not usually the students; it is the system. Change the system in the right ways and many of the problems of poor behavior, low motivation, and disengagement tend to disappear. It can be the system itself that creates the problems.

That excerpt comes from "What Happens to Student Behavior When Schools Prioritize Art" on the KQED website, which simply excerpts the new book, You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education by Sir Ken Robinson, Ph. D and Lou Aronica. Go check out the excerpt on KQED, and know that the Arts Commission, through the ABC Project and other programs, is committed to providing quality arts education to all students across South Carolina.
Ed. note: the discussion or linking to of any publication by The Hub and/or the South Carolina Arts Commission does not express or imply endorsement or approval of any and/or all material therein.