06/15/08 — New Goldsboro Fine Arts Academy looking for students and teachers

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New Goldsboro Fine Arts Academy looking for students and teachers

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on June 15, 2008 2:01 AM

ArtSmarts, the newly-formed Goldsboro Fine Arts Academy, has found a temporary home and a program coordinator. Now all it needs are students and teachers.

The academy will begin its afterschool program in August at the First Baptist Church Educational Building, located at 125 South John Street, with its new program coordinator, Martha Bryan, and is currently looking for teachers, teacher assistants and up to 45 students.

The program plans to provide introductory experiences in music and art to students in grades 3 through 5 who are city residents.

Mrs. Bryan, a retired school teacher who taught in the Wayne County public school system for 32 years, will head up the program and is ready to bring the arts back into the lives of Goldsboro's children.

"When things are cut in public schools, the arts always go first. Our public schools have art programs, and we don't want to compete with that," Mrs. Bryan said. "We want to add onto it."

"Statistics show that allowing children to experience the arts increases their learning capabilities," she added.

Learning and participating in the arts improves academic performance in reading, language and math and raises standardized test scores, she added.

The arts can also provide self-confidence building skills to children who may not be as good at standard areas of academics.

"Those children who aren't so good with books can excel in the arts," Mrs. Bryan said. "Everyone has their thing."

The daily schedule for the program will include both homework and arts class time as well as a snack. Tentatively, the program will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. each weekday.

The program requires no experience or previous formal teaching, just an eagerness to learn.

ArtSmarts doesn't endorse any specific religion as all religions are welcome to participate in the after school program. The First Baptist Church donated space to the program.

The program will follow the Wayne County Schools closing policy for all holidays and inclement weather. Attendance will also be monitored as full participation will be required of each student.

Students wishing to participate in the program are required to fill out an application complete with two teacher references that include the student's interest, skills or abilities in the arts.

Applications will be accepted until June 27 or until filled and are available at the Parks and Recreation Department, Wayne County Public Library, Arts Council of Wayne County and City Hall as well as downloaded at www.goldsboroparksandrec.com.

Fees will be charged for fall, spring and summer sessions, and each session costs $50 per week. Financial aid is available. Award decisions are based on a family's financial need and the city's ability to support a percentage of that need. Aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Children receiving free or reduced lunch will be considered for financial aid. Families must reapply each session.

ArtSmarts is committed to enrolling students from diverse economic, religious, ethnic, racial and social backgrounds.

"We want a mix of people," Mrs. Bryan said.

For arts and music teachers and teacher assistants, a high school diploma and at least two years experience working with school-age children or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required. A two-year degree in early childhood development and education is preferred. A valid North Carolina driver's license is also required. College interns will be accepted with proper references and resume. The salary will be $20 per hour for teachers and $15 an hour for teacher assistants for up to 15 hours a week.

Two to three positions of each are available. Expected hire date is July or August. Applications are available at City Hall or on the city's Web site at www.ci.goldsboro.nc.us.

Next summer, Mrs. Bryan hopes to include dance and theater into the academy's curriculum.

The idea was first brought to the table in January and then again at the City Council retreat in February, and since then, the program planning group, including City Manager Joe Huffman, Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan, Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. Director Julie Thompson, Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw, Arts Council Director Sarah Merritt, DGDC Board Member Stephanie Ross, Mrs. Ross' daughter Morgan Ross and North Drive teacher Greg Brown, has been working to set the program in motion and finalize arrangements.

For more information, contact Mrs. Bryan at 580-4278 or via e-mail at arts_academy@ci.goldsboro.nc.us.