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RPS Wins Arts Grant

10/30/2013

​​The grant, called Rockford Arts Infusion, comes through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement

Rockford Public Schools leaders received a nearly $1.2 million arts integration grant to use over the next four years. The grant, called Rockford Arts Infusion, comes through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement and will be used to offer a different approach to math instruction and target students who struggle with math. "It will be a whole new way to look at learning," said Donna Moeller, Dean of Curriculum for Secondary Math.

RPS was among only eight districts across the country to receive the grant. The Rockford School Board formally accepted it tonight. The four-year grant will provide $325,000 in years 1 and 2 and $265,000 in years 3 and 4.

The grant will target sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Kennedy and Flinn middle schools. Students who receive two math classes – an additional block to focus on math basics – will receive math classroom instruction that incorporates the arts. A remedial course replaces an elective course. This is another way to provide arts instruction and integration and still focus on much-needed basic math skills. Fifth graders will also work with visiting artists from the community during after-school programming and tutoring sessions.

Administrators hope to kick off the programming in January and expand to other grade levels in the following years.

This grant will complement a more than $50,000 arts integration grant RPS received in the spring through the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. That grant came through a collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Rockford was one of 12 cities selected to work with the Kennedy Center. The goal is to grow arts programming through professional development as well as partnerships with the Rockford Area Arts Council, surrounding school districts and community arts programs.