NAESP, in conjunction with Crayola, has awarded 20 NAESP members with grants valued at $3,000. The grants are part of the Champion Creatively Alive Children Program, which aims to help principals implement and document innovative arts-education projects at their schools and share best practices for arts education with fellow educators.
As evidenced in the arts-themed issue of Principal magazine, integrating the arts into the school curriculum is essential to developing the whole child. In order for students to reach their full potential and grow into self-motivated learners, natural curiosity and explorative spirits must be nurtured. However, diminishing school budgets often lead to arts education being among the first programs to be reduced or cut altogether. That is why NAESP and Crayola are helping principals use innovative instructional methods to engender creativity in their students.

  • For your school to be eligible for future grants under this program, a principal must be a member of NAESP. Join today and discover all the wonderful benefits of membership. If you have any questions, please call 703-518-6256.


    Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant Winners 2010

    Principal Sandra Och
    Pittsburgh Carmalt Science & Tech Academy
    Pittsburgh, PA
    “What if” students could see the impact immigrants had in the creation of their contemporary communities and meet with community historians to identify the relationship between architecture and the community? Students will explore the history of communities and the roles that architecture and arts play... (Read more)
    Principal Jacqueline Daniilidis
    Estelle Elementary
    Marrero, LA
    “What if” we could help the children who have experienced significant loss due to the oil spill and hurricane Katrina to become more resilient?  What if we could empower our students and residents to address these serious issues that affect our lives? Students will study the Louisiana eco-system and the impact of the oil spill and Katrina on our homes... (Read more)
    Principal Marsha Elliott
    Jonathan D. Hyatt P.S. 154
    Bronx, NY
    “What if” our Character Education curriculum could be integrated with our literacy program and we could explore the world of puppetry to help students find their individual voices as important tools in communications—both literacy and visual arts? Using the theme of "Puppetry in Our Community" and by partnering with Central Park’s Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre and City Parks Puppet Mobile... (Read more)
    Principal Marcia Wolf
    Orems Elementary
    Baltimore, MD
    “What if” students are able to create meaningful connections between core content areas and visual art in order to share their learning and artistic expression with each other, parents and their community? Students will create a "Library within a Library", featuring their originally authored... (Read more)
    Principal Thomas Santo
    Zane North Elementary
    Collingswood, NJ
    “What if” a caring school community was created by developing positive relationships?  What if the arts became a key means of sharing thoughts and feelings, helping students feel connected, and enhance their understand of interpersonal communication?  What if creativity inspired a vision of resourcefulness?  What if nurturing was fostered through the arts?  What if learners were challenged to address their civic duty? (Read more)
    Principal Wesley Manaday
    John P. Oldham Elementary
    Norwood, MA
    “What if” the Oldham School teachers could shift the focus of instruction back to inspiring students to being creative in their learning by linking art with English Language Arts specifically in story writing?  When children's stories are driven by rich visual images, their writing is transformed in many powerful ways... (Read more)
    Principal Jeff Clay
    Oxford Elementary
    Oxford, MS
    “What if” we could build a team of teachers who did not think of the arts as "fluff" but rather, as a core subject that is a powerful tool that can teach the required objectives in an authentic, meaningful, and memorable way?  What if we could better meet the needs of all of our students, from the students who struggle the most to learn and need to feel the power of success to the highest performing students who need new creative challenges to feel engaged? (Read more)
    Principal Cheryl Ames
    Springville K-8 School
    Portland, OR
    “What if” Springville staff all worked toward creating a "culture of quality"?  What if this culture of quality included infusing the arts into other curriculum areas, resulting in students who learned the skills of inquiry, developed perseverance in creating high quality work, and increased achievement in reading, writing, science and social studies?  What if we created standards for performance for each student product?  (Read more)
    Principal Joe Corcoran
    Harriet Gifford Elementary
    Elgin, IL
    School data for the 2009-10 school year indicated a high rate of disrespect toward peers, adults and learning.  Further investigation revealed the majority of students being referred were African American and Hispanic males who were struggling academically... (Read more)
    Principal Laurie McDonald
    Evergreen Mill Elementary
    Leesburg, VA
    “What if”... an entire school community worked creatively all at one time.  What if every student, every teacher and each of the support personnel periodically stopped what they were doing; dropped everything, and begin to create?  What incredible creativity could be unleashed at Evergreen Mill Elementary School?  As individuals; in small groups; as classes; and as a whole school, we would work to creatively solve problems using a variety of art materials... (Read more)
    Principal Michael Craver
    Flocktown/Kossmann Elementary
    Long Valley, NJ
    “What if” artistic creativity and mathematical concepts were linked in teaching and learning so that the two mutually foster wonderment and understanding for students?  What if the concepts in mathematics and explorations in art mutually reinforced learning so students are more skilled in both disciplines?
    The plan is to apply "authentic mathematics" and artistic analysis skills... (Read more)
    Principal Jill Wittekiend
    RJ Richey Elementary
    Burnet, TX
    "What If…  We cranked it up a notch?" is an innovative, sustainable project that integrates art and science by building observational skills, descriptive vocabulary through analogy and creative approaches to learning.  It is a means to strengthen skills for visual literacy and expression through which nuances in design are perceived... (Read more)
    Principal Karl Schleich
    John D. Shaw Elementary
    Wasilla, Alaska
    “What if” tolerance could be taught?  What if we made time for families in our school community to gather, talk and create?  How could collaborative visual arts experiences foster understanding and tolerance?  What if a school community spent time together focusing on what we do have in common, creating art, and learning about each other? (Read more)
    Public School 315 – School of Performing Arts
    Brooklyn, NY
    “What if” schools relied more on project-based authentic assessment rather than the standardized tests?  In this world of standardized testing and using data from high stakes, one-time assessments, we are now seeing that students are not ready for the rigors of a four-year college education... (Read more
    Principal Karlona Sheppard
    East Glacier Park Grade School
    East Glacier Park, MT
    “What if” we could teach the importance of cultural heritage through artists and their work, in the past and present? “What if” artistic talents and creative abilities were awakened and nurtured by schools? What if we introduce students to local artists as role models and mentors who could help them integrate the seven essential understandings of Montana's American Indian Tribes in a fresh, innovative arts curriculum?  (Read more)
    Principal Carolyn Wood
    Pennington Elementary
    Nashville, TN
    “What if” we could help the families of this community heal from the devastating flood that impacted over one-third of our school population.  What if we could help children overcome their fears of water and become more resilient to crisis?  What if we could help families create scrapbooks that help them regain the memories lost to the floods? (Read more)
    Principal Luis Soria
    Mitchell Elementary
    Chicago, IL
    “What if” the art room was transformed into an art studio where students are given choice regarding materials, mediums and subject matter?  What if the art program focused on problem solving and idea generation to teach 21st century learning skills?  What if art students focused on process and could articulate their thinking through artist statements?  (Read more)
    Principal Mary Donaldson
    Monticello Intermediate
    Monticello, AR
    “What if” our students were empowered to develop an educational community that replaces apathetic participation with passionate, active learning through real world, applicable projects by integrating content and curriculums?  What if our school expanded their sense of community in local, state, national and international partnerships?  (Read more)
    Principal Patrice Goldys
    Norwood Elementary
    Baltimore, MD
    “What if” our fifth grade students could build their leadership skills and become ambassadors for our school?  What if our students could communicate and share their cultivated creative ideas with the broader community?  What if our students could collaborate with one another and use their critical thinking skills to solve artistic problems?  What if our students were to reach out to other children, gifting their work for the benefit of another person? (Read more)
    Principal Kelly Gustafson
    Bower Hill Elementary
    Venetia, PA
    “What if” Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, and Vincent van Gogh visited our science class?  What if third grade science inquiry was meaningful and also beautiful?  What if each student could get others to see what moves me?  What better way to learn about scientific observation skills and deductive reasoning than to be immersed in an outdoor school-garden filled with flowers, vegetables and butterflies while studying the inspiration behind famous artists' masterpieces? (Read more)