The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) recently received grants from the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) and the S.C. Department of Education (SCDE) provided more than $115,000 in additional resources for arts programs this school year.
A $17,477 SCAC ABC Advancement grant will allow the district to continue implementation of its five-year arts strategic plan created by a district steering committee with four major goals of delivering comprehensive arts education for all students, providing arts staff development for all teachers, building community partnerships and establishing proper facilities and resources for teaching and integrating the arts.
The $100,498 SCDE grants provided a variety of arts-related learning at eight KCSD schools.
The eight schools -- Camden Elementary, Doby’s Mill Elementary, Jackson School, Mt. Pisgah Elementary, Pine Tree Hill Elementary, Camden Middle, Lugoff-Elgin Middle and Lugoff-Elgin High -- each earned a Distinguished Arts Program Grant (DAP) of $12,500 to $13,000. The DAP grants were used to add outdoor musical playground equipment, purchase Orff instruments, equip teachers for arts-integrated lessons, provide arts materials and schedule artists-in-residence in visual arts, music, dance and theatre.
“We will continue to grow the arts in our county in order to reach and teach every child. It is a joy to watch our students engaged in learning through the arts and learning about the arts,” KCSD Arts Coordinator Regina McDonald said.
KCSD Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services Alisa Taylor said these grants have provided support to the school district’s many art classes and programs.
“Visual and performing arts teachers in the Kershaw County District strive to offer varied and challenging opportunities to their students, and these programs are enhancing student experiences,” Taylor said.
According to Taylor, high school drama programs are providing exciting performances while the district show choir is in its second year and has shown great promise for the future. She also highlighted the district’s strings program that has been extended to the middle schools as an outstanding success as well as the fact that artistically gifted students have been able to experience yearlong programs for the first time rather than just participate in a two-week summer program.
“The arts are a significant part of a high quality comprehensive K-12 education, and the Kershaw County School District values art instruction, participation, and exposure,” Taylor said.