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Jason Rapp

Arts-forward school district superintendent honored

Green earns Superintendent of the Year title


The South Carolina Arts Commission congratulates Dr. J.R. Green, superintendent of Fairfield County School district, for being named the 2021 South Carolina School Superintendent of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators.

Dr. J.R. Green headshotHis district is one of seven to receive the new, $18,000 District Arts Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). Within the district are two schools that are Arts in Basic Curriculum Project sites: Fairfield Central High School and Kelly Miller Elementary School. ABC Project sites first apply for the Arts in Basic Curriculum grant from the SCAC. If approved, they receive the grant and acceptance into the program, which is a partnership among the SCAC, South Carolina Dept. of Education, and Winthrop University.

Bonus #content: A list of FY21 grant award recipients is available here.

ALL4SC (website) has more on Green here:

Dr. J.R. Green understands more than most the need to transform education outside of schoolhouse walls. As the superintendent of the Fairfield County School District, Green’s mission is to work with and inspire young people while providing them with an education that forms the foundation of their future.

In recognition of his leadership, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators  recently named Green the 2021 South Carolina School Superintendent of the Year. SCASA gives the award annually to a district superintendent as a component of the National Superintendent of the Year program of the American Association of School Administrators.

William Frick, chair of the Fairfield County School Board, has had the opportunity to observe Green’s leadership as an educator and community builder. “Dr. Green talked about having a ‘culture change’ in the Fairfield County School District,” said Frick. “Our students graduate with two years of college as they graduate from high school, overall test scores are improving, and financially we are operating with a balanced budget.”

ALL4SC is partnering with the Fairfield County School District in a pilot project to begin prototyping a model for the transformation of education in South Carolina and the nation.

“J.R. is the quintessential exemplary school superintendent — leading with his values what matters most for children as well as leading by listening to and learning from others,” notes Barnett Berry, research professor and founding director of ALL4SC at the UofSC.

Green works closely with many education leaders, like ALL4SC, to increase academic and economic opportunity for his students and the overall community. “If we are really being forward thinking, we recognize that in order to change the trajectory of young people’s lives, we have to address more than what happens within the schoolhouse walls,” noted Green when asked about the need to address out-of-school factors in South Carolina. These opportunities are significant in accelerating advancement in his school community, as 90 percent of Fairfield County School District students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

A product of two parents who instilled the value of education in him, Green spent several years in education administration before becoming FCSD superintendent in 2012. He received his doctorate degree, two master's degrees and a bachelor’s degree from the UofSC. He currently serves on the State Board of Education and is a member of the Providence Health Board of Trustees and a director for the Midlands Education and Business Alliance.

Jason Rapp

Arts Education Partnership report lauds ABC Project in S.C.

AEP report 'reflects back and projects forward'


Over 25 years ago, the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts partnered with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Council of Chief State School Officers to create the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to ensure that all students have equitable access to an excellent arts education.​ - AEP report


A new report from AEP takes a long look at the genesis of the partnership. While it's no surprise to those involved in the work, casual readers might be surprised to know that South Carolina and a few South Carolinians at the right place at the right time figured mightily in how everything came together on a national level. In a Part 2 of the report, former SCAC Executive Director Scott Shanklin-Peterson and Dr. Terry Peterson recount work with Dick Riley in Columbia as governor and Washington as President Clinton's education secretary to get the arts included in sweeping educational reforms in the 1980s and 1990s. The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is extremely proud of the ongoing work of the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, a national model for integrating the arts into K-12 curriculum discussed at length in the AEP report. Together with the South Carolina Dept. of Education and the Winthrop University College of Visual and Performing Arts, the ABC Project continues serving the Palmetto State 31 years after starting and 33 years after the SCAC received a $20,000 Arts in Schools Basic Education planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to develop the it. Read the full report here.

Jason Rapp

‘Learning Why’ provides S.C. quality arts ed lessons

Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, SCETV partner for students


A collaboration between the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project (ABC) Project and SCETV is thrilled to highlight great teachers through the in-state television network's "LearningWhy." 

The partnership stems from a singular belief: all students in South Carolina deserve a quality arts education. Through the generosity of great teachers like Elise Helms sharing great lessons, that goal is possible. ABC Project’s mission is to provide leadership to achieve quality arts education for all students. For the past 32 years, ABC Project has worked with schools and districts across the state to invest resources in teacher professionalism to design and create standards-based, quality arts and arts-integrated lessons. As a part of this investment and mission, ABC Project has aimed to collect and publish exemplary lessons that can be shared across the state. Through the partnership with SCETV "LearningWhy," lesson plans are reviewed by content specialists within ABC's network, and then vetted by SCETV for publication. The lessons submitted are from South Carolina Arts Commission ABC Advancement grant applicants who received a top score on a submitted lesson. This year, ABC Project had one teacher who was published. Veteran music teacher Elise Helms’ music lesson, "Making Music with the Pout, Pout Fish," is the culminating lesson on how music can help tell a story. This 2nd-grade lesson asks students to contemplate the question, “how can we use instrument sounds to enhance our storytelling?” Helms’ lesson skillfully combines the use of various classroom percussion instruments along with The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen to guide students as they explore both storytelling and instrumental music. To check out "Making Music with the Pout, Pout Fish," along with other great one-to-one lessons, you can visit www.learningwhy.org. The ABC Project is a long-standing partnership among the South Carolina Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and the South Carolina Dept. of Education.
Helms, a 33-year veteran elementary music educator who has made music education her life's work, feels passionately about the arts being a part of every child's elementary school experience and beyond. Currently, at AC Moore Elementary School in Columbia (Richland One School District), she taught at Irmo Elementary (District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties), where she was chosen Teacher of the Year in 2003. Among her many leadership contributions, she served as lead teacher for District 5 Elementary Music teachers, president of the Elementary Division of South Carolina Music Educators Association, and coach for the Curriculum Leadership Institute for the Arts. She is the co-founder of the District 5 Elementary Honor Choir which was chosen to participate in the Celebration of States in Washington for two different years. Helms earned a bachelor's of music education from Newberry College and a master's in education in administration from the UofSC.

GP McLeer

Live from an arts school

Today only!


Our future is in good hands!

Today is all about Arts Education, because the arts are alive in South Carolina schools! Hear from the students and schools benefiting from the arts. Today, the South Carolina Arts Alliance is teaming up with our friends at the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project to bring you a series of Facebook Live events held around the state by various schools who have received ABC Advancement Grants and who place value on the arts in their school day. Click here to see the schedule, and tune to each school's Facebook page to catch it all live.

About the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project

The Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project provides leadership to achieve quality, comprehensive arts education (dance, music, media arts, theatre, visual arts and creative writing) for all students in South Carolina. The ABC Project is cooperatively directed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina Department of Education and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University. ABC Grants currently provide quality arts education to 170,730 students at 84 sites throughout the state, enabled by Education Improvement Act Funds approved by the General Assembly, and administered by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Unfortunately, as demand for grants and services continues to grow, no new applications are being accepted due to insufficient funding. This year, we are requesting a $500,000 increase in EIA/SCAC funding to increase the ABC Project's impact.
GP McLeer is executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance.

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Jan. 13

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. 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 number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) 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.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

Next week

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Jan. 6

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. 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 number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) 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.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

  • n/a

Next week

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 30

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. 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 number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) 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.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 23

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. 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 number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) 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.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

  • n/a

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 16

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. 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 number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) 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.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

Next week

  • n/a

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes

Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of Dec. 9

Though far from the only thing, grants are among the main things we do here. 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 number of times people say, "If only we'd known about (X or Y) 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.

*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.


This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.

  • n/a

Next week

Next 30(ish)

Rolling Deadlines

Important Notes