Kamaile Academy & Waianae El in National Arts Initiative

The following excerpts are from Nanea Kalani’s “3 Oahu schools to take part in national arts initiative” (Star-Advertiser 6/7/15):

A national program that uses arts education to help turn around low-performing public schools is expanding to Hawaii.

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced Wednesday that three Oahu public schools — Kalihi Kai Elementary, Kamaile Academy Public Charter School and Waianae Elementary — will receive funding and resources for three years as part of the Turnaround Arts initiative.

The program, which was launched as a pilot in 2012, helps schools hire arts and music teachers, purchase art supplies and music instruments, and train educators to integrate art with core subjects such as reading, math and science.

The program also works with celebrity artists who “adopt” the schools and work directly with students and teachers to support their arts education. Hawaii’s Turnaround Artists will be musicians Jack Johnson and Jake Shimabukuro and actress Alfre Woodard.

“My love of music started as a kid strumming the ukulele in an elementary classroom,” singer-songwriter Johnson, who will be “adopting” Kamaile Academy and Waianae Elementary, said in a statement. “I hope to inspire the kids to dream big and help to create an environment of joy and possibility.” Shimabukuro will be working with Kalihi Kai.

The Turnaround Arts program is in 49 schools in 14 states and the District of Columbia, reaching more than 22,000 high-needs students.

Read the full story here.

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