ROSELLE, NJ - Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School has recently been approved for the “Artists in Education Residency” grant program for next year.

The Artists in Education (AIE) Grant, which is currently pending funding due to COVID-19 related concerns, will provide $10,000 to allow Polk Elementary School to implement a 20-day residency program. The award will cover teaching artist fees, administration costs and artist travel fees.

“I’m so happy to be chosen; it is quite a competitive program,” said Amanda Nagy-Harrison, District Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts. “All districts are in the same boat right now so I’m just taking it one stride at a time and celebrating the fact that we, among many other candidates, were chosen to get this amazing opportunity despite where the chips may fall due to the aftermath of the pandemic.”

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Funding for the AIE project will be confirmed in October. Once funding is approved, the orientation and beginning stages of the residency will commence. 

As of now, the elementary school plans to use the residency program to bring experienced Hip Hop dancers to teach techniques and important lessons about culture.

“I believe the dance element of Hip Hop is Polk’s growing platform in addressing and integrating Amistad/African American history in our daily approach to teaching,” said Principal Andreea Harry. This grant will draw focus on understanding our students’ culture exhibited in the community. It will help improve teacher effectiveness and social and emotional learning.”  

AIE stated that Polk School’s application was selected because the panel was impressed with the school’s understanding of the Hip Hop discipline.

“Adding Hip Hop dance will open new teaching methodologies and activities that are anchored in culturally-relevant teaching approaches,” Harry said.  “The classroom is where students engage in individual and interactive practices associated with music, dance and literacy.”

The school administration is committed to making all aspects of the arts a basic part of the education of its students.

“Polk Elementary is very deserving of this grant as the school continues to make arts education a priority,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. James Baker. “We thank Ms. Nagy-Harrison and Principal Harry for their outstanding efforts in getting us approved for this grant.”