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Dawson County Schools awarded Rural Education Grant
Board of Education Sign.JPG
The Board of Education building at 28 Main Street. - photo by Jessica Taylor

The Dawson County School System has been awarded a $10,000 Rural Education Grant for 2022, which will support fine arts for all grades in the system’s schools. 

In a presentation to the Dawson County Board of Education during its Oct. 4 meeting, Director of Federal Programs, Assessment and Accountability Denise Reynolds explained the qualifications that the school system met to receive the grant and the specific uses that the funds will go towards. 

To be eligible for the grant, a school system has to have 35,000 or fewer residents in the county. The grant is created based on the ‘educator’ and ‘support education’ license plates sold in the state. Schools awarded the grant can receive up to $10,000 in funding to support fine arts education for students in all grade levels. 

“This is a research-based grant; with fine arts we can spread that out through different content areas,” Reynolds said. “It helps kids with their problem solving, creative thinking, cognitive skills, social skills and strengthens their communication skills as they participate in the fine arts program.” 

Thanks to the hard work of Reynolds and everyone else who worked on the grant application, the Dawson County School System has been awarded the full amount of $10,000. 

According to Reynolds’ presentation, the school system will use the funding for the following: 

  • $1800 for music in grades six through 12 for Choral Tracks application, to allow students to hear tracks and practice independently to improve their choral skills 

  • $600 for supplies for each of the seven schools’ art programs, for a total of $4200

  • $600 for each elementary school’s music program, for a total of $2400

  • $800 each for the Dawson County High School Drama Department and the Little Tiger Theatre Co., for a total of $1600

In the grant application, the school system set goals for the programs that the grant money will fund. This includes increasing the number of students participating in drama performances, having student centered art shows in each of the schools, increasing the number of superior ratings earned by sixth through twelfth graders on the Georgia Music Educator Associations Large Group Performance and increasing the number of pieces played in school concerts by elementary school students. 

“We had to write some goals that we will be working together to increase outcomes in those areas and we will be monitoring that,” Reynolds said.

Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Janice Darnell, along with Superintendent Nicole LeCave and the board members, thanked Reynolds for her hard work on the grant and expressed excitement at the amount being awarded to the school system. 

“This is one of the first tasks that we asked Mrs. Reynolds to take when she came on board in July with us; she said ‘okay I’m all in’ and not only did a great job on the application but we also received that grant — so we’re very excited,” Darnell said.