Crayola and NAESP are proud to help principals Champion Creatively Alive Children and support arts-infused education.

Arts-infused education teaches children the four Cs — communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity — skills they need to understand our increasingly interconnected world and thrive as 21st century citizens.

NAESP and Crayola have awarded 20 NAESP members with grants valued at $3,500 to help principals implement and document innovative arts-education projects at their schools and share best practices for arts education with fellow educators.

2018 – 2019 Grant Winners



Art, Identity, and Mindfulness
Hilltop Middle School

Ilwaco, Washington
Mark Westley, Principal

This middle school is building a social-emotional program focused on Arts, Identity, and Mindfulness (AIM). The goal is to empower students with a peer support group, visual communication strategies, and agency to help them overcome high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), generational poverty, and behavioral issues. The arts will be intentionally introduced into classrooms as strategies to help students develop positive ways to deal with emotions and feelings. Initial experience with the program shows it is creating a safe place for students to channel emotions into art forms, become more resilient, and acquire skills to navigate their lives outside of school.


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Arts Professional Learning Community Provides Peer Coaching
View Ridge Elementary Arts Academy

Bremerton, Washington
Korene Calderwood, Principal

This school, now in its second year of their arts integration journey, plans to use their Arts Professional Learning Community to embed arts-integration into their school improvement plan  and provide faculty with professional learning, collaboration time, and coaching to apply new knowledge, refine practice, and deepen the use of arts-integration school-wide. Peer coaching will include collaborative planning, peer observations, and debriefing.


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Collaboration and Student Voice Address Restorative Justice
Oakland Mills Middle School

Columbia, Maryland
Megan Chrobak, Principal

The Creative Leadership Team will lead cross-disciplinary collaboration and help colleagues fuse art into restorative justice units. A newly created Student Council of the Arts will provide regular feedback to the faculty on their arts-integration units.


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Community Partnerships: People, Places, and Services
The Experiential School of Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina
Melissa Bocci, Principal

This new school’s mission focuses on partnering with the community to establish an experiential curriculum that prepares students to be engaged citizens. Professional development will be provided to the faculty on arts integration, experiential teaching methods, project-based learning, and community arts partnerships.


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Embedding Robust Art-Integration
Thomas S. Stone Elementary School

Mt. Rainier, Maryland
Ashanti Bryant Foster, Principal

Nestled in a community steeped in artistry, this school will partner with the Prince George’s African American Museum and the ArtWorks Now organization to embed the arts throughout their curriculum. The arts faculty, ESOL teacher, and community artists will join grade-level collaborative planning sessions to support classroom teachers’ use of art standards and help them assess projects for robust art-integration.  Moving from decorative enhancement to true integration in this school means, “We want arts to move from the icing on top to the core within the cupcake.”


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Implementing a Vision to Reduce Isolation and Inspire Engagement
Lehigh Acres Middle School

Lehigh Acres, Florida
Neketa Watson, Principal

This STEAM magnet school is using arts integration to bring learning alive and address state standards in ways that excite students. Their vision is to reduce the impact of socioeconomic challenges and learners’ sense of isolation by building creative problem-solving skills and student agency.


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Intellectual and Emotional Connections Help Facilitate Self-Regulation
Eva Wolfe Elementary School

North Las Vegas, Nevada
Jennifer French, Principal

This grant is focused on the “therapeutic and intellectual power of art” to increase learning and self-regulation skills. The Title I teachers and the district’s Family and Community Engagement Services (FACES) are committed to increasing family engagement and celebrating students’ talents, as they integrate art across the curriculum.  Families will use art to help children create meaning, promote mindfulness, and appreciate beauty. Families and educators will adopt a holistic approach when partnering on this program.


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Leadership as a Path Forward: a Self-Reflective Approach
Hedgepeth/Williams Middle School for the Arts

Trenton, New Jersey
Adrienne R. Hill, Principal

This school is partnering with Crayola creatED on creative leadership professional development and is using the series of self-reflective exercises to assess their growth. Using the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership guidance, they expect lessons to address the arts standards as well as other disciplines’ standards and elevate projects beyond basic enhancement into true arts-integration experiences. The faculty is using a common language and collaboratively established vision to deepen their existing arts integration approach. They are developing teachers’ and students’ leadership capacity.


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Learning Beyond School
Rivercrest Elementary School

Bartlett, Tennessee
Portia Tate, Principal

This grant is focused on using the arts to increase family engagement and honor the learning that occurs beyond school walls. Teachers have received Crayola creatED professional development on creative leadership and multiliteracies and are now eager to share those insights and activities with families. Instead of traditional homework, families will create art-integration projects together at home that will bridge the learning between home and school.


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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and an Arts Lens
Otay Elementary School

Chula Vista, California
Monica Castillo, Principal

Teaching Artists from a local collaborative along with the District Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator will provide professional development and coaching for teachers to ensure that they have multiple strategies and unit plans to integrate science and art learning. Their modules will be based on the NGSS and national arts standards. They are eager to share the new modules and videos of teachers implementing the units in order to help other schools adopt art-integration practices.


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Partnering to Increase Arts Learning
Holly Springs-Motlow Elementary School

Campobello, South Carolina
Erika Center, Principal

This school will partner with the Arts in Basic Curriculum organization, a local sister school, and Teaching Artists from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, in order to increase classroom teachers’ and students’ artistic knowledge and creative confidence.  


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Problem Solving that Transcends Disciplines: Breaking Content-Area Boundaries
Journey Elementary School

Casper, Wyoming
Coebie Taylor-Logan, Principal

To enrich the school’s project-based learning approach, classroom teachers and arts specialists will collaborate and co-teach cross-disciplinary projects.  They will develop innovative assessment rubrics and pre- and post-surveys around growth mindset.  They will focus on the transfer of information and learning connections.


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Raising the Roof: The Place and the Space for Unique Teaching and Learning
Johnsburg Central School

North Creek, New York
Heather Flanagan, Principal

The Creative Leadership Team will provide colleagues with professional development and interdisciplinary lesson support to make dynamic science- and art-connected units a reality in their new outdoor learning arena.  The Adirondack Foundation, Hyde Museum, and older student tutors are providing support and guidance to establish hands-on, outdoor discovery as a school-wide teaching approach.


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See the World and Make Your Mark
Riviera Beach Elementary School

Pasadena, Maryland
Jason Anderson, Principal

This school is restructuring the learning day to promote coherent, aligned learning across all subjects and activate students’ curiosity. Their Enhancing Elementary Excellence (EEE) program engages students in project-based, collaborative, student-centered learning that is steeped in the arts. Students will use inquiry and persuasive supported arguments, as well as resiliency, as they construct and assess their projects that address wellness, science, and social studies standards. Cultural arts teaching teams will plan and co-teach with classroom teachers, applying arts learning in coherent and imaginative ways, helping students see the world and make their marks.


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Student Empowerment through Supporting Shifts in Teacher Practice
Hokulani Elementary School

Honolulu, Hawaii
Laurie Luczak, Principal

In collaboration with the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and Art, this school is providing teachers with professional development on the intersections of art and visual literacy, as well as art and science.  The staff and students are on a journey to empower children with voice and choice, increasing engagement, achievement, and joy!


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Therapeutic Benefits of Cultural Arts
McKinley Elementary School

Erie, Pennsylvania
Dana Suppa, Principal

This community has a high percentage of refugees, so the school enjoys the richness of many diverse immigrant cultures. Their program is focused on working with families to bring a wealth of cultural arts into the school and to use the arts to help students who have experienced trauma. Teachers will be trained in therapeutic art practices and use the arts to create safe environments, encourage positive communications, and establish cultural respect within the learning community.


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Think Forward: Embrace and Develop Teachers’ and Students’ Learning Styles
Penrose Elementary School

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tamara Sobin, Principal

Envision a school designed to create a learning community that guides forward thinking rather than spoon-feeds information and develops leaders who are critical thinkers. This project-based school will develop new, arts-based ways of delivering instruction that inspire students to raise the bar. Learners are hungry for more voice and choice when designing final projects and need to be empowered to plan and conduct their own creative problem-solving opportunities. Through professional development, feedback from their critical friends’ process, and by redesigning the learning environment, they plan to embrace individuals’ learning styles and empower all students to take ownership of their learning journey.


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Time to Deepen Learning and Create Together
FAIR School Crystal

Crystal, Minnesota
Zoraba Ross, Principal

This school is partnering with Crayola creatED to deepen teachers’ understanding of art-integration strategies and apply the creative leadership and multiliteracies concepts to classroom projects. Teachers are receiving release time to collaborate through the year, and teacher leaders are re-delivering the creatED leadership courses in chunked, mini-workshops to help classroom teachers gain creative capacity and confidence. Teachers and students will engage in peer coaching.  As faculty embed art more purposefully into classrooms, they will assess levels of collaboration and aim to decrease staff turnover.


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Units of Study Address Attitudes, Abilities, and Mindset
Hillside Elementary School

Livingston, New Jersey
Carlos Gramata, Principal

This school plans on using art-integration to build growth mindset within their Caring Communities program. They will create units that challenge students’ attitudes. Pre- and post-assessments will document changes in growth mindset and willingness to persevere and learn from mistakes. Students will explore how adopting artistic practices and studio habits foster a growth mindset, which impacts all learning and aspects of life.


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Well-Being:  Prerequisite for School Success
PS 54

Bronx, New York
Dr. Marybelle Ferreira, Principal

What if children could use art to develop coping skills, self-soothe, and develop resilience? Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s quote, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls,” the school’s Creative Leadership Team is focused on how social-emotional issues impact student achievement and plans a series of art experiences to help students identify, articulate, and gain control over their emotions. Their intent is to empower students with strategies for using art to reduce stress and promote their own well-being.


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