2 local schools to benefit from S.C. Arts Commission grants

Students at two Lexington County schools will have more access to the arts with the help of grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Pleasant Hill Middle School and White Knoll Middle School each received grants of approximately $9,000 to enhance art classes, purchase equipment and bring in professional artists to speak to students.


Lexington One students take part in the district’s summer arts showcase. A grant from the S.C. Arts Commission will make more programs like this possible. (Photo provided)

White Knoll has used previous grant funding to buy new flooring for its dance classroom, rehearsal blocks for its theater room and new instruments for its orchestra.

Debb Adams, White Knoll’s theater director, said the money is crucial to the arts program, and the program is invaluable for students.

“The arts … help the students understand what it means to be human and to contribute to our world in meaningful ways,” she said. “We believe the arts are integral to the students’ emotional, cognitive and psychomotor growth.”

At Pleasant Hill, the faculty has used previous grant money to fund an artist-in-residence program. The school hosted Bob Doster for a lesson in metalworking, the Be Kind Crew for an anti-bullying dance session and the Columbia Children’s Theatre for a workshop on stage combat.

This year’s plans include inviting artists-in-residence into core classrooms to promote arts integration into all areas of study, according to Assistant Principal Jessica Robbins.

“Giving students access to the arts is not just important, it is vital to developing creativity, resilience and camaraderie in students,” Robbins said. “We have seen that students who are involved in Arts classes find a place to belong in the school community.”

Adams said the school may also purchase a new spotlight for its Little Theater and new sound equipment and art display cases.

Lexington School District One administrators are working with teachers to obtain additional grants for district schools.