TCOE awarded new federal arts grant

In Tulare County, arts education is stepping into the spotlight thanks to the support of a new grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The Tulare County Office of Education has been awarded a five-year, $1.7 million grant under the USDOE’s Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) program. For this highly competitive grant, the department reviewed 109 applications and funded 27 programs in 15 states. This is TCOE’s first major grant award for arts education.

AAE grant funds will support TCOE’s new Quality Arts Instruction and Learning (QUAIL) Project. Housed in Educational Resource Services under the direction of Kate Stover, arts staff development and curriculum specialist, the QUAIL Project aims to make an impact on Tulare County. “We are honored to be AAE grantees and are looking forward to expanding all of our arts-related service and support for the students, educators, families, and communities of the county,” Stover said. “This funding will enable us to implement the vision of the Tulare County Arts Master Plan, which we completed in 2018, and to make our arts education dreams a reality.”

The primary goal of the no-cost QUAIL Project is to provide high-quality, standards-based arts education for all Tulare County students in the five arts disciplines (dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts). Participants in QUAIL will develop and freely share these resources through a rich professional learning series that welcomes all educators – single subject art specialists, general education teachers, administrators, counselors, and community arts educators. In addition to school-year professional learning opportunities, the program will also offer an intensive summer institute training and reactivate the county’s artists in schools program.

Rooted in improvement science, QUAIL will provide coaching and mentoring for educators, as well as academic and social-emotional supports for students. The arts aid in developing social-emotional wellbeing by providing students with a vehicle for expression, an opportunity to celebrate culture and history, and a way to understand the world they live in.

The program will also feature an opportunity for local artists and industries to get involved. “Along with all of our support for educators and students, we are expanding our reach deeper into the communities through our existing CreateTC Arts Coalition,” Stover said.

For more information on the QUAIL Project, contact project director Kate Stover at [email protected]

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