Cave Junction, OR: RiverStars Performing Arts is pleased to announce it has received a three-year grant award from The Oregon Community Foundation in partnership with the Ford Family Foundation. The grant initiative is called the K-12 Student Success: Out of School Program and it focuses on “bolstering student attendance and academic success among Oregon’s middle school students of color, rural and low-income students.” It appeals to existing programs of any discipline that are using best practices and offering summer engagement options.
“This award allows us to expand our programming to include an advanced dance class and weekly summer classes. We are also looking at ways to include academic support,” says Project Lead, Lindsey Gillette. Over the course of the grant, evaluation efforts will help track the effects of the programming. Hard data, like grade point averages and attendance records are of interest, but reflective data about the participant’s self-esteem and resilience will also be sought.
The awarding foundations have identified middle school as “a key transition point and an opportunity to combat socioeconomic, geographic and racial inequities in student success.” Founding Lead Educator for RiverStars, Gina Angelique explains, “We hope to prove that our program leads to better academic success including better graduation rates and show positive impacts on the social development of our participants too. The arts are not a luxury, they are critical to a well rounded education that empowers youth to be agents of social improvement, and we are thrilled this grant will help us continue with our work.”
The grant amount for the first year is $35,694. While this and other grants provide much of our funding, we are always accepting donations from our local community. Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed or delivered to 201 Caves Hwy, Cave Junction, OR 97523.
This grant is a part of a concerted effort between the Illinois Valley Community Development Organization and dancefarm to bring substantial monies to the Illinois Valley for theatre and dance education. This latest award brings the total to more than $350,000 since the effort began over three years ago. These monies not only mean that Illinois Valley youth have opportunities in the arts, but that quality arts education jobs are available here. More than ten arts jobs have already been made available to the valley.
RiverStars Performing Arts provides dance and theatre classes and performance opportunities to Illinois Valley youth. The group’s productions are original, student and local artist penned pieces about our community. You may recognize our group from flash mobs at the Cave Junction Farmers’ Market or bi-annual productions reflecting local antics in iconic “Cavetown.” RiverStars Performing Arts is a program of the Illinois Valley Community Development Organization in partnership with Three Rivers School District and dancefarm.
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