Bridgeport Roosevelt School in for federal money

BRIDGEPORT — The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced today that Roosevelt School has been selected to participate in a new arts education initiative to help turn around low-performing schools.

The Turnaround Arts initiative is a new public-private partnership designed to narrow the achievement gap and improve student engagement through the arts. Roosevelt is one of eight schools selected for the program through a highly competitive national selection process, and will receive intensive arts education resources, expertise and the involvement of high-profile President’s Committee artists over the course of two years to support their educational reform effort.

Roosevelt is also the recipient of federal School Improvement Grant funds under a plan to turn it into a art-themed school. The school, located on Park Avenue, is scheduled to be torn down and rebuilt starting this summer. During construction, Roosevelt students are to be housed in the district’s swing-space school near the University of Bridgeport campus.

In a prepared statement, Margo Lion, co-chairwoman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities said the plan is to use arts as a means to increase the schools rigor.

“The President’s Committee is delighted to have the students of Roosevelt, and their inspired principal, Tania Kelley, participating in Turnaround Arts,” said Margo Lion, Co-Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. “Ms. Kelley and her team have an outstanding vision for Roosevelt, one that is alive with creativity and fresh ideas—full of art, theater and movement. We are excited to be working with them to help making that vision a reality.”

Kelley said she is excited.

The amount of the grant was not immediately available.

As part of the program, the President’s Committee and its partners will provide training and resources to Roosevelt and the other participating schools, including an Aspen Institute summer leadership program, in-school professional development, partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations, art supplies and musical instruments and community engagement events. Presidentially-appointed artists on the Committee, Chuck Close, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker, Yo-Yo Ma, Damian Woetzel and Alfre Woodard, will “adopt” one of the selected schools for the length of the program, working with the schools and communities and highlighting their successes.

Other participating schools are in New Orleans, Iowa, Montana, Colorado, Boston, Portland and Washington D.C.

Linda Lambeck