$45,000 in Grants to be Awarded to Thirteen Schools and Free Learning Guide Created to Engage Children in the Arts

Friday, December 28, 2012

Press Release

Catherine Vacovsky

Susan Jevens
American Girl

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education, is partnering with American Girl to help promote the arts in U.S. schools. This effort builds upon American Girl’s introduction of its 2013 Girl of the Year, Saige Copeland. To support Saige’s message of preserving the arts in schools, American Girl, with support from Americans for the Arts, is sponsoring the Elevate the Arts School Grant Contest, where schools can enter to win one of 13 grants totaling $45,000. In addition, the two organizations have teamed up to create a Saige Learning Guide, a free, downloadable arts-based curriculum designed for teachers to inspire their students to explore their creative side.

“Ensuring children have access to a quality arts education— music, drama, dance, writing, visual arts—is critical to teaching the next generation creativity and innovation: skills vital to succeeding in the workforce of the future,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “This partnership and the grant program come at a challenged time for our nation’s schools, as budget constraints are leading districts across the country to continue to cut arts programs. We are grateful to have a partner such as American Girl that recognizes the important role the arts play in educating America’s children. Not only are we thrilled to be working with them to help provide much-needed resources to U.S. schools nationwide, but we also are grateful for their financial support of our Arts Education Program, which provides arts education professionals with the information, materials, and resources they need to enrich student experiences with the arts.”

Elementary schools throughout the United States with students in grades 3-6 can submit entries to support their art program through the Elevate the Arts School Grant Contest. Each entry must contain two components: a digital image of artwork and a written essay. Entries should be submitted between January 1 and May 31, 2013. They will be evaluated on originality, creativity and how effectively it demonstrates the school’s enthusiasm for art and its positive effect on its students.

Grants will be awarded to 13 schools. The first-place winning school will receive $10,000, schools placing second and third will win a $5,000 each, and ten runner-up schools will each receive $2,500. Grant recipients will be announced in October 2013 to coincide with National Arts and Humanities Month.

In addition, Americans for the Arts and American Girl have partnered to create a Saige Learning Guide. The free, downloadable resource outlines seven specific activities teachers can use to infuse the arts into their classroom and inspire their students to explore the arts, share their artistic passions and promote the arts in their schools and communities. To complement this resource, Americans for the Arts is offering additional tools that parents can use to ignite their child’s creative spirit and imagination and to ensure their school districts and education leaders are committed to the arts. These supplementary tools can be found on Americans for the Arts’ website.

Further details regarding the Elevate the Arts School Grant Program, including specific contest rules and regulations, and the Saige Learning Guide can be found at www.americangirl.com/girloftheyear.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

American Girl Brands is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, (NASDAQ:MAT, www.mattel.com), the world’s leading toy company. Since American Girl’s inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005, or visit www.americangirl.com