• News Release: Montpelier Elementary Principal Carla Furlow Receives Grant to Champion Student Creativity

    October 19, 2017
    For Immediate Release
    Office of Communications

    Montpelier Elementary School Principal Carla Furlow is one of 20 elementary and middle school principals from across the nation selected by Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) for a “Champion Creatively Alive Children” school grant.  Crayola and NAESP together selected 20 schools to receive the grants, which will fund innovative programs aimed at fostering children’s critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills.

    The grants are intended to help schools build creative capacity, nurture children’s creativity and inspire other schools to do the same. Montpelier Elementary received a $2,500 grant and $1,000 worth of Crayola products for its program, “Environmental Advocacy Weaves Together Art, Natural History and Activism.” Furlow will share program outcomes on NAESP’s website and a special Principal magazine supplement to help other principals develop promising practices related to arts education.

    “I feel this is a perfect avenue to interweave our students’ and staff’s passions for the arts and the environment,” she said.

    Students and teachers at the Laurel school will analyze and synthesize the intersections between art, natural history, and advocacy in partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. They will also share their insights with the Prince George’s County Arts-Integration Network. The school’s Creative Leadership Team will then help colleagues plan art-infused environmental projects that inspire activism.

    “Crayola believes that for students to reach their full potential and grow into self-motivated learners, their creativity and critical-thinking skills must be nurtured. We believe children develop these 21st century skills when educators ignite their imaginations through art infused education,” said Smith Holland, Crayola President and Chief Executive Officer.

    The Champion Creatively Alive Children grant program asks principals to explore a “What if…” learning opportunity. For example, what if arts-infused learning thrived every day in schools? What if schools relied more on project-based authentic assessment rather than standardized tests? What if parents and schools found ways to document and articulate the value of creative experiences? The entries were judged on innovation, collaboration, and sustainability.

    “Principals understand the value of using arts-infused education to ignite deep learning for all students,” said NAESP Executive Director Dr. Earl Franks. “We’re thrilled to work with Crayola and the Champion Creatively Alive Children grant program to provide schools with this unique opportunity to build creative capacity. These schools’ grant proposals are innovative approaches to establishing creative leadership and demonstrating promising practices that inspire others.”

    To view the complete list of the 20 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant recipients, visit www.naesp.org/creativity.

    About Crayola:

    Crayola believes in honoring and nurturing the colorful originality in everyone. The Crayola creatED professional development program helps build creative leadership capacity school-wide. Art-integration awakens faculty and student voices, as they make thinking visible and stretch their creative thinking. Together with educators, Crayola champions creatively alive children. For more information, visit www.crayola.com/educator.

    About the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP):

    Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle school principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional development, advocacy, programs, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals, providing specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and capacity-building educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org.

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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. The school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.