|GEORGE RODRIGUE FOUNDATION INVITES SCHOOLS TO JOIN THE "LOUISIANA A+ SCHOOLS" ARTS-INTEGRATED, WHOLE SCHOOL REFORM NETWORK|
Proven A+ Network Already in Operation in Oklahoma, North Carolina and Arkansas
LOUISIANA - December 3, 2012 - The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) announces the launch of Louisiana A+ Schools (LAA+), an initiative to bring the proven success of the A+ Schools program to schools across Louisiana.
"We are very excited to bring LAA+ to Louisiana because it is the first whole school arts-integrated reform initiative of its kind for our state," says Jacques Rodrigue, Executive Director of GRFA. "We believe LAA+ has the potential to influence the way that all Louisiana students are taught."
Started in North Carolina in 1995, A + Schools is a research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner through an arts-integrated school network. The network provides teachers with the essentials to think more creatively about how students can apply learning to the real world, and how they can present curricula to students in ways they learn best. Arts integration is achieved through continuous practitioner-led professional development, statewide support networks for teachers and administrators, and partnerships with parents, community resources, media and universities.
Extensive university research in A+ Schools reveals dramatic improvements including:
GRFA hired Bethany France to serve as Director of Louisiana A+ Schools. As a champion for arts integration in Louisiana, Bethany France served under the Lieutenant Governor as the Director of Arts-in-Education for the Louisiana Division of the Arts from 2007 - 2012. In that capacity, she spearheaded arts learning initiatives and administered arts education grants to schools, nonprofits, and social service agencies statewide. Originally from Massachusetts, Bethany served as Assistant Director of Readmissions at The New England Institute of Art and Communications Boston. In 2002, she relocated to Louisiana to take part in Teach For America, where she taught second grade at Progress Elementary School in Baton Rouge.
"I have two school age children," says Bethany France, Director of LAA+ Schools. "When I close my eyes and imagine the type of school that I want them to attend, that school is everything that the A+ method represents. I am excited that thanks to the Rodrigue Foundation, my children and many students in Louisiana will have the opportunity to benefit from the arts-integrated education that LAA+ will provide."
Every school in Louisiana (pre-k through 12, urban, suburban, rural, public, private, parochial or charter) is invited to begin the application process to become an A+ school. LAA+ plans to add five to ten schools to the network each year. Schools must have 85% commitment from their faculty to apply and agree to a three-year implementation process involving whole school training each summer and customized professional development throughout the school year. Additionally, LAA+ is actively seeking corporations and individuals to serve as sponsors and partnerships with local arts organizations across Louisiana.
George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization advocating the importance of the arts in the development of our youth through a variety of art educational programs.
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