[Raleigh, NC]—United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County has made $43,275 available to 53 Wake County schools to move one grade level per school to an area arts and cultural destination.
Now in its second year, the Wheels on the Bus fund, originally designated for Title I schools, was open for all Wake County Public Schools System elementary schools to apply, with priority given to Title I schools. These Title I schools are targeted because 40-80 percent of their student populations receive free or reduced lunch assistance. Schools choose their field trip destination from a list of Triangle-area options, including the Blue Jay Point County Park, Carolina Ballet, Artspace, and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. The fund covers transportation costs for the field trip and helps defray entrance costs (if any), on a limited basis.
Kelly Wilson, assistant principal at Combs Elementary, reacted to news about this year’s Wheels on the Bus grant:
“Thank you so much for providing our third grade with the Wheels on the Bus award. We value all that the United Arts Council does for WCPSS and for our school. Thank you for providing our students with a valuable learning experience!”
And Joan Colalillo, reading specialist at Vandora Springs Elementary, said:
"On behalf of all of our third graders, thank you so much. This grant helps all of our students to enjoy enriching field trips that support our curriculum!"
There is no centralized funding from the school system for field trips. The school system does pay admission for all 4th graders to attend one daytime concert by the North Carolina Symphony.
“We want to expand the opportunities for all of the children in Wake County to see the vibrant, creative community and rich history so close to home,” said United Arts President and CEO, Eleanor Oakley. “Children should not miss out on these exceptional visits because the school cannot afford to fire up the bus and pay the driver.”
This fund is supported by the Wake County budget.
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The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, based in Raleigh, NC, was incorporated in 1990. Our mission is to build better communities through the support and advocacy of the arts. For the 2016/17 school year United Arts will help bring in teaching artists to 142 schools in Wake County through its Artists in Schools program. The United Arts Council also offers grants to organizations, communities and individual artists and provides services to the community such as advocacy, resource development, professional/leadership development and special projects. The grants, programs and services of United Arts reach over 1.2 million people annually in Wake County.