Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that Side x Side, Inc., will receive a four-year, $2,482,515 grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The funding will support Side x Side’s project titled “(Re)Imagining Education” to promote arts curriculum in Portland and Lewiston elementary schools. The University of Southern Maine will be Side x Side’s primary partner. Senators Collins and King wrote a letter to the Department of Education in support of this grant.
“By creating new learning opportunities and promoting innovative teaching methods through the arts, Side x Side will help children in Portland and Lewiston unlock their full potential and achieve academic success,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We believe that Side x Side is well equipped to carry out this program to enhance access to arts education for all students, regardless of background or ability level.”
(Re)Imagining Education is designed to address achievement gaps among elementary school students in Portland and Lewiston by helping teachers integrate the arts into the curriculum and assigning trained teaching artists as mentors as part of a “Master Teachers” program. Objectives of the project include strengthening teachers’ knowledge of arts integration and arts appreciation; strengthening students’ deeper learning and social-emotional skills to improve learning ability; and establishing a sustainable model for embedding arts integration into schools’ professional development, school culture, and community expectations.
Side x Side is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide educators in the Portland and Lewiston school districts with comprehensive arts integration strategies and tools to use in their curricula.
The funding for this project was awarded through the Assistance for Arts Education Development and Dissemination Grants Program.