Florence 1 schools receive $770,000 in federal grants to expand arts and STEM programs

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — Florence School District 1 plans to expand its after-school arts and STEM programs using $770,000 from two federal grants, the district said in a news release.

The money will be used to purchase flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets and trombones, as well as reeds and other essential supplies to “reduce or remove barriers to participation for some families due to the costs of instrument rental,” the district said. It will also help cover staff costs, cleaning supplies and other items used daily by the programs.

For the visual arts, the money will fund a potter’s wheel, clay and glazes for students at Carver Elementary STEAM Magnet School, as well as a wide variety of art supplies for creative art projects on district campuses. The district will purchase art panels and related lighting systems to beautifully display the artwork created by students in the district. Student work in 3D, such as sculptures and clay pieces, will be displayed on pedestals also purchased with these grant funds.

Beverly Woods, the district’s extended day coordinator, said she was thrilled to hear that Florence 1 had received the grants.

“We are absolutely thrilled to get these grants,” Woods said. “The most important thing for us is that it allows us to make a difference in our neighborhood, for our students and our families.”

The district also said the expanded programs are part of an ongoing effort to increase access to instrumental music in all elementary schools, particularly with the addition of Art Magnet programs that students can participate in at grade level. from college or high school. For younger students, schools will be provided with recorders and a wide variety of classroom instruments.

Erick Figueras, director of F1S Arts and Innovative Programs, said giving students increased exposure to the arts, especially at the primary school level, opens up many exciting opportunities for them in the future.

“The grant will provide funds to make fine arts programs more accessible in elementary schools across the district,” Figueras said. “We are especially excited to bring a group to McLaurin Elementary and to extend group program support to Greenwood Elementary.”

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