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Grant encourages teachers to integrate arts

Teachers who integrate visual art, drama, dance, music or a combination of those disciplines into their classroom studies may receive a grant of up to $1,000.

Jamie Shortal Willis, a retired Mattoon art teacher, and her family, are encouraging teachers to integrate art in their classrooms. The Shortal Foundation Grant rewards a teacher or a group of teachers with up to $1,000 earmarked for the classroom project.

Potential projects earning the grant maybe longstanding classroom activities that could benefit and be enhanced from the additional funds or may be new project ideas that would otherwise not occur without the funding. A single teacher or multiple teachers working on a single project are encouraged to apply.

Funds may not be used to fund field trips, purchase equipment or technology.

“As a former teacher, I know the creativity and enthusiasm many teachers have for introducing art related projects to their students,” said Willis. “My family and I are excited to offer this grant and we really encourage teachers to apply.”

The grant application is not rigorous but we do require recipients provide a follow up report about the success of the project, Willis added.

Applicants who demonstrate how one or more of the arts strengthen existing or new curriculum will be shown preference as well as those projects that reach a larger audience. Other aspects, which are helpful but not required in earning grant preference, include projects that are collaborations between classrooms,  promoting guest artists and having other supporting or matching funds.

Applications are due Nov. 1 and applications can be submitted electronically this year.  Please retain a hard copy for your records. The application is available at the following link:

Shortal Grant Application

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Mattoon Community Unit School District 21701 Charleston AvenueMattoon, IL  61938

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