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November 4, 2017

Paep awarded a 4th, 21st century community learning centers grant for $1.196 million over 3 years

The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced the 47 awardees to receive grants totaling $46 million over three years as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Cohort 9 grant program. The Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) is one of the organizations selected to deliver afterschool and summer program services to Philadelphia students. PAEP will be investing $398,750 annually, $1.196 million over the three-year grant period, in five School District of Philadelphia grades 5-8. The purpose of this grant is to provide additional educational services to students in high-poverty and low-performing schools. PAEP will deliver educational opportunities to complement, supplement, and enhance work being done in the classroom.

Designed to augment STEM academic subjects with inclusion of the arts, (STEAM), this program employs the visual and performing arts as a means to strengthen students’ mathematics, science, and literacy competencies, improve students’ standardized test scores, and enhance the development of students’ pro social behaviors and attitudes towards school. PAEP places 20 teaching artists across 5 selected schools to incorporate the arts to help improve grade level math, science, and literacy concepts and skills.  Teaching artists are trained by PAEP to integrate the arts with academics and are supervised by PAEP insuring that grade level specific math and science skills are reinforced during the program. Teaching artists at each site collaborate with grade level teachers to target the specific skills teachers identify as needing reinforcement.

This project-based model promotes experiential learning to develop 21st century workforce skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration. Performing and visual arts units are grounded in the Pennsylvania Academic and Arts and Humanities Standards. According to Pearl Schaeffer, CEO of PAEP, “By integrating the arts with the students’ current math, science, and literacy curriculum, this program employs a differentiated instructional approach to give students multiple options for taking in information and for making sense of big ideas and concepts.”

PAEP has extensive experience in designing and implementing 21st CCLC grant programs. The new Cohort 9 grant program complements Cohort 6A, Cohort 7, and Cohort 8 program grants made to the organization since 2012. While Cohort 6A is completed, PAEP currently brings afterschool and summer programs to 14 schools. Through the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, to-date, PAEP has invested nearly $4.4 million in materials, resources, and services in School District of Philadelphia K-8 schools.

The Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership promotes learning in and through the arts for students in K-12 schools and community sites throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. PAEP encourages excellence in arts education practice and is grounded in the belief that the arts are integral to the comprehensive education of all learners.

For more information about this and other PAEP programs visit the website at or call: 215-982-1207.