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County schools receive $75K for arts programs

Shown are Jennifer Supri, Jennifer Withrow and Tina Shiver.  |Kendra Majors/Star-News

Shown are Jennifer Supri, Jennifer Withrow and Tina Shiver. |Kendra Majors/Star-News

Three Alabama Arts Education Initiative Grants will pump $75,000 into three Covington County Schools, the system learned this week.

The grants are funded through the Alabama State Department of Education.

Secondary instructional specialist Deedee Holland said that the school system implemented three district-wide initiatives, including arts education, technology and CCS Connect.

Red Level High School Language Arts teacher Jennifer Supri, Pleasant Home English teacher Jennifer Withrow and Straughn High School history teacher Tina Shiver were recipients of the awards.

Withrow said at PHS, they plan to develop a drama program that includes kindergarten through 12th grade students.

“We also hope to bring in more arts such as drawing and painting,” she said.

Supri, who is in her first year at RLHS, said that school officials plan to expand the theater department at Red Level and purchase needed equipment to ensure the longevity of the program.

Additionally, they plan to purchase a mobile learning lab.

“This will allow our drama students to view performances across the globe,” she said. “Our band students will have the opportunity to see band concerts as well.”

Shiver said SHS plans to expose students to a variety of cultural experiences as well as expand the drama and instrumental departments, and implement a visual arts program.

Through the county’s arts education initiative this year, the system hired Joy Sowards as the full-time elementary music teacher. She works in conjunction with local band directors to offer music education to all kindergarten through fifth graders in the county with each class meeting once a week for 30 minutes.