The Starr Foundation Awards $2.25 Million to Young Audiences for Nation-Wide Arts-Education Program

Posted on May 19, 2008

New York, NY — The Starr Foundation announced a $2.25 million commitment to New York City-based Young Audiences to continue its support for the national Arts for Learning Lessons program through June 2009.

The program provides teachers with a supplementary curriculum designed to boost student achievement in reading and writing by fully integrating the arts in classroom-ready literacy lessons. A 2007 grant from the foundation helped the program reach more than three thousand students in grades 3-8 at schools in northern California, Indiana, Kansas City, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, northeast Ohio, northeast Texas, Oregon, San Diego, and Wichita. The new grant will be used to develop and expand the program, with the goal of achieving district-wide implementation in communities across the country.

In the fall of 2007, an independent study of more than a thousand students in eight participating school districts found that students in the program showed significant improvement on literacy tests. Indeed, 82 percent of teachers who implemented even one unit of the program found it had a positive effect on student learning, while 89 percent of students in middle school and 82 percent in elementary school reported learning as much or more from the Arts for Learning curriculum as in their regular reading class.

“We are pleased that our continuing support of Young Audiences will bring this groundbreaking educational program to more students in more locations,” said Starr Foundation president Florence A. Davis. “Since our founding more than fifty years ago, the foundation has supported educational programs that enable students to achieve their highest levels of potential.”