White House picks northeast school for added resources
Martin Luther King Jr. School in northeast Portland has been selected to participate in a new arts education initiative that will include the support of actress Sarah Jessica Parker, a star from the hit TV series Sex and the City and other films.
King was named on Monday as one of eight elementary and middle “turnaround schools” across the county in an announcement from President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
Developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council, the new public-private partnership is designed to narrow the achievement gap and improve student engagement through the arts at low performing schools.
“The President’s Committee is delighted King School, under the inspired leadership of their principal Kim Patterson will be participating in Turnaround Arts,” said Margo Lion, co-chair of the committee.
“Ms. Patterson and her team have an exciting new vision for their school, a vision that acknowledges the vital role of the creative arts — art, music and movement — in building a school culture of engaged learning and academic success,” Patterson said.
Research shows that when students participate in the arts they are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, have higher GPAs and SAT scores and show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12. They are also more likely to be engaged and cooperative with teachers and peers and are more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. These benefits are particularly pronounced in high-poverty, low-performing schools, officials said.
The President’s Committee and its partners will provide training and resources to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other participating schools, including an Aspen Institute summer leadership program, in-school professional development, partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations, art supplies and musical instruments and community engagement events.
“Working with King School over the next two years will be an amazing honor,” said Parker. “I have seen the power of the arts transform the lives of students and I’m excited to help create an engaging, inspiring place for King children to learn. I look forward to helping Principal Patterson build momentum and create a well rounded arts environment, an essential component of a complete education for every child.”