The Newhall School District was awarded the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Advancement Grant on Monday, providing the district with more than $22,000 that will be used to further the integration of the arts into its curriculum.
Last year, a similar grant enabled the district to offer hip-hop dance classes at its school sites, said Dee Jamison, assistant superintendent of instructional services. This year, the funds from the grant will offset the costs associated with the Newhall district’s new 11-week theater residency experience — a program that seeks to integrate visual and performing arts standards with Next Generation Science Standards.
The program will be available to all fifth-grade students across the district, Jamison said, because the goal is to provide every student in the district with a high-quality education, of which the arts are an intrinsic part of the core curriculum.
“We do it because we really believe in the education of the whole child,” she added. “Academic instruction isn’t just reading, writing and arithmetic. The theater and the arts are just as critical.”
The district acknowledges that exposure to and participation in multiple arts disciplines strengthens a child’s academic growth and development, Jamison said, which is why the district has been hard at work writing grants.
“We’re really looking to support our teachers and students in providing more art and hands-on experiences,” Jamison said. “We will always continue to seek ways to do that, and receiving grants is just another piece of that.”