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Perham and NY Mills Schools selected for arts initiative

Dr. Paulson presents Perham superintendent, Tamara Uselman, with a certificate of recognition for being selected as a focus site for the Perpich Arts Integration Project.

Ten schools in West Central Minnesota, including Perham and NY Mills, have been selected to participate in a first-of-a-kind Arts Integration project designed to boost student achievement.

The initiative is a project of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, using funding from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Minnesota Legislature.

All of the schools in this inaugural project are in Clay, Becker, Wilkin, Otter Tail, Traverse, Grant, Douglas, Stevens and Pope Counties.

The project will provide intense teacher training in using the arts as a basis to engage students in new ways.

It will provide funds for everything from technology support to paying for substitutes when teachers are involved in off site workshops and training.

"Schools were selected because they already have an excellent base," said Dr. Pam Paulson, senior director of policy at the Twin Cities based Perpich Center.

Paulson visited Fergus Falls to announce the schools selected for the project.

"Much of our focus will on professional development for the teachers in the selected schools. We know that when teachers continue to learn, learning in the classroom is stimulated and enhanced."

Schools selected include elementary, middle and high schools.

Perham Superintendent Tamara Uselman is delighted that Prairie Wind Middle School is one of the sites selected for the Perpich Arts Integration project.

"This will really help round out our curriculum," she said. "As resources in our district have dwindled, we have become more textbook driven, and we know that this is not always how students learn best. The arts have taken a hit in our district because of budgetary concerns, and our inclusion in this project will make a huge difference for our teachers and our kids."

Dr. Paulson said the goal of the project is to challenge and strengthen teachers so the new methods and techniques they learn will be of lasting value to the districts beyond the 18-month scope of the project.

Selection was based on data from the Minnesota Arts Education Survey and the Minnesota Department of Education Staff Development Survey, as well as information gathered regarding your programs and school goals related to the arts and arts integration.


Through a range of research-based professional development opportunities and funding support, project facilitators will closely support a team (or teams) of teachers at participating schools to create and implement arts-integrated teaching and learning.

Project goals include improving standards-based student achievement across content areas in and through the arts and expanding the quality and scope standards-based arts education for students in the area.