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TC Music Professor to Study Effect of Arts Programming on Special Needs Students
Rob Horowitz, Associate Director of the Center for Arts Education Research and adjunct associate professor of music at Teachers College, will direct the evaluation of a new professional development program in the arts for teachers of special education students in elementary schools.
The five-year program, called Everyday Art for Special Education, or EASE, has been developed by the Manhattan New Music Project (MNMP) for District 75, New York City’s special education district. The program won a $4.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s new Investing in Innovation Fund, known as i3. It will serve 40,795 students and is scheduled to begin October 1st in 10 schools throughout New York.
Horowitz is currently involved in a District 75 study of the impact of the arts on children with autism. He said preliminary findings show that autistic children do better at reaching their individualized educational programs when they are exposed to arts education. “Teachers have found this process incredibly useful for reaching the children,” Horowitz said, “in getting a response from children, helping them learn to follow directions and spend more time on task, and in communicating and socializing with other students.”
The EASE program will explore the effect of all types of art—including music, theater and movement—on children with special educational needs, with a focus on their socialization, communication and academic skills.
Federal regulations require winners of i3 funds to raise an additional 20 percent in matching funds. District 75 said it had secured a $500,000 contribution from National Philanthropic Trust, and the MNMP board is committed to raising the remaining $429,000 over five years.
“We are truly and incredibly grateful for the generous support of the National Philanthropic Trust for the J.P. Morgan Charitable Giving Fund, which at the recommendation of the Education Collaboration Fund (ECF), has committed $500,000 to the project,” said Unitey Kull, Executive Director of MNMP. ECF supporters include the Dalio Family Foundation, Judy and Jamie Dimon, the Finnegan Family Foundation, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the TOSA Foundation, and other anonymous donors.
The $650 million i3 program is part of the Department of Education’s $10 billion investment in education reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As with the much larger $4.3 billion Race to the Top program, the i3 funds were competitively awarded. The MNMP and District 75 proposal was one of three arts programs to receive funding. It ranked fourth out of 49 winning applications from among nearly 1,700 nationwide.
Published Tuesday, Sep. 14, 2010