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    Thea Foundation asks for $2 million in state funds for schools

    8:34 PM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Thea Foundation is asking the state for $2 million for a pilot program that combines art with academic lessons.

    "We wanted to change the way teachers teach and children learn," said Principal Janice Wilson of Rockefeller Elementary in Little Rock.

    Wilson's school is one of 11 Arkansas schools experimenting with the program.

    "This model is really a recipe of how to put creativity into every classroom," said Paul Leopolis of the Thea Foundation.

    The Thea Foundation stresses the importance of the arts in the development of children.

    "If you don't teach to how they learn, then they're not going to learn," said Leopolis.

    The bill is sponsored by Democratic State Representative James McLean of Batesville.

    "What we want to do is create a pilot program that is funded hopefully through general improvement funds," said Rep. McLean

    Wilson said Arkansas A+ Schools program gives children the practical application of what they learn.

    "[I] had a first grade class go out and learn about the signs of spring. Well then they put into a rap," said Wilson.

    Wilson said the children are now more likely to remember what they learned. She said her teachers have seen a reduction in disciplinary problems after implementing the Arkansas A+ Schools program.

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