Among the eighteen organizations awarded new Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grants by the U.S. Department of Education, Cleveland Play House was on the list. The initial amount of $444,050 is part of the four year $2 million total that will be utilized to fund CPH’s new Compassionate Arts Remaking Education (CARE) program.
The CARE program will be in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and will be used to improve social emotional learning skills while increasing literacy learning and at the same time be a benefit to underserved students. While participating in the program, students will have access to high quality digital tools and training as well as Common Core standards based instruction. The program also provides professional development sessions and real time coaching for educators thus helping to establish theatre integrated lessons in a positive classroom environment.
“This grant from the Department of Education recognizes Cleveland Play House as a leader in the field. Most people know us for our work on the stage, but equally important to our mission is the work we do in classrooms and with young people across our region,” states CPH Artistic Director Laura Kepley. “Our innovative CARE program uses theatre techniques to teach critical 21st century skills such as collaboration and creativity while boosting students levels of empathy and self-confidence, setting students up for success in the classroom and in life. This grant will allow us to bring the program to more students, both regionally and across the country.”
The goals of the program will be to increase student achievement, add to the teachers’ capacity to plan and deliver a theatre integrated curriculum while supporting classroom culture and safety. Through a built in evaluation process, CARE will supply teachers, schools, districts and policy makers with much needed information concerning the program as well as data on companion technology, teacher preparation and real time coaching in regards to student achievement with standardized literacy tests, SEL skills, school culture and safety.
“The arts are an essential part of a well-rounded educational experience, and all students deserve access to high-quality arts instruction,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Great arts educators can help students grow and succeed inside and outside of the classroom.”
During the selection process, the U.S. Department of Education studied 105 AEMDD applications resulting in the funding of 19 new grant awards. Each application was reviewed by a panel consisting of three non-Federal reviewers with expertise in various areas related to arts education and program evaluation. The reviewers rated each application independently and documented its strengths and weaknesses based on the criteria published in the Federal Register on February 25, 2014. Final application scores were recorded on a funding slate, and the 18 highest scoring eligible applications were recommended for funding.
Along with Cleveland Play House’s work in educational programs, the organization has had a long history of integrating theater and education. Known as the nation’s first regional theatre, over 5,000 CMSD students and staff attend free performances and theater tours each year. CPH also goes to the schools with regular programs that introduce theatre into the curriculum. In addition, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital sponsors the Classroom Matinee Touring Program, and KeyBank has been the longtime sponsor of the KeyBank CPH College program.
About Cleveland Play House
Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, Cleveland Play House has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,300 CPH productions. Cleveland Play House looks toward its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland under the leadership of Artistic Director Laura Kepley and Managing Director Kevin Moore.
The Ohio Arts Council helped fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. We also thank the residents of Cuyahoga County for supporting Cleveland Play House through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.