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GNAC Receives Federal Funds to Expand Outreach Programs

Thanks to the efforts of Congressman Gary Ackerman, the Great Neck Arts Center will be able to increase its offerings of year-round after-school classes in the arts at schools throughout Long Island and Queens. The programs will be offered primarily at schools in underserved communities.

In addition, these funds will provide for professional teacher training and development workshops. These workshops guide teachers in strategies that demonstrate how to integrate the arts into the teaching of regular classroom curriculum.

The funds secured by Rep. Ackerman are part of Congress’ Omnibus Appropriations Bill, made available through the Department of Education.

“Because of Congressman Ackerman’s support, over the next several years we will be able to provide thousands of hours of after-school arts instruction to the most vulnerable students in our communities,” said Arts Center executive director Regina Gil.

“As an affiliate of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Program, these funds will also enable the Arts Center to bring master teaching artists directly to schools to support our teachers with innovative and creative ways to enhance current teaching methods. Not only will these programs benefit thousands of students and teachers each year, but also will allow us to continue to employ even more local artists and teachers. We are profoundly grateful to Congressman Ackerman for his understanding of the issues, championship of the underserved, and commitment to arts education.”

Since its inception, The Arts Center has provided professional training and development workshops for teachers on topics including bullying, tolerance and literacy, among other subjects. Examples of teacher workshops that are currently being offered include teaching history and math through music, teaching literacy, poetry and literature through drama, and teaching science through dance.

Thousands of children throughout the region already participate in Arts Center after-school programs at their schools. While these after-school programs provide a valuable service, particularly to working families, many schools have limited resources to operate them. Thanks to Rep. Ackerman’s funds, The Great Neck Arts Center will be able to provide additional classes in more school districts.

In recent years, The Arts Center has received local, regional and national recognition for its outreach and other programs. It is an affiliate of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program. For additional information about The Great Neck Arts Center and its outreach programs, visit its website, www.greatneckarts.org or call 829-2570.