Opportunity Grants to Benefit Arts, Physical Education at 4 CCSD Schools

March 22, 2023

Four schools in the Clarke County School District will receive an extra boost to their fine arts or health and physical education programs through the second round of Opportunity Grants, announced last week by the Georgia Department of Education. The grants are made possible through federal stimulus funds under the American Rescue Plan (ARP - ESSER). 

The department is awarding a little more than $1.8 million in five different categories to schools across the state, including $12,530 to schools in Clarke County. Whit Davis Elementary School will receive $5,350, and Fowler Drive Elementary School will receive $2,500, in Fine Arts Consumables and Equipment (FACE) grant funds for the acquisition of supplies and equipment needed to teach the required Georgia Standards of Excellence for Fine Arts. 

Meanwhile, Howard B. Stroud Elementary School will receive $2,940, and Clarke Central High School will receive $1,740, in Health and Physical Education Equipment (HPE) grant funds for the acquisition of equipment needed to support health and physical education instruction.

“Georgia is committed to expanding opportunities for students and providing an enriching educational experience in the core content areas and beyond,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “These grants ensure that students across the state have access to educational opportunities that prepare them for life and keep them engaged in school.”

In the first round of Opportunity Grant distribution last year, CCSD schools received nearly $9,000 in combined funds to increase student opportunities in fine arts education, provide financial support for the district for a mentoring program for Advanced Placement (AP) course teachers, and to allow non-AP teachers to attend AP Summer Institute training. 

“The Opportunity Grants have awarded schools with valuable funds to acquire equipment that will significantly support specific programs and activities,” said Dan Smith, CCSD’s Fine Arts, Health, and Physical Education Curriculum Coordinator. He noted that H.B. Stroud Elementary is revitalizing its volleyball instruction by obtaining new poles, nets, balls, and storage equipment, while Clarke Central High will also be receiving multiple exercise bikes for use in its physical education classes. Additionally, Whit Davis Elementary and Fowler Drive Elementary will be equipped with high-quality ceramics equipment - including tools, slab rollers, extruders, glaze, and more, while the Whit Davis music program is taking a step forward with a new digital piano that will benefit all students in their music education. 

“Our schools are indeed fortunate to receive such additional funding, which will undoubtedly enhance the learning experiences of our students in the fine arts and physical education,” said Mr. Smith.