Six Schools Named Winners of up to $10,000 in Arts Education Scholarships From Young Audiences








Date: November 2, 2015


Denyce Mylson

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania

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Six Schools Named Winners of up to $10,000 in Arts Education Scholarships From Young Audiences

Grants provide an array of high-quality arts education programming for schools in need

PRINCETON, NJ, November 2, 2015 – Six schools in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania have been chosen to each receive up to $10,000 for Arts Education Grants from Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YA). For a sixth straight year, Target Stores has partnered with and YA to provide quality arts education programming to schools in need. Through the grant, winning schools will work closely with YA to deliver a variety if arts education programs for the students, teachers and families throughout the region to inspire and expand their learning.

Fitler Academics Target Grant“We received an overwhelming response from the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania school communites to our Arts Education Grants,” said Michele Russo, President & CEO of Young Audiences. “The six selected schools are all committed to providing arts-rich educational programs, but lack the funding to put them in place. We look forward to working closely with these schools to develop the kind of meaningful arts programming that will continue to enrich and inspire students creativity.”

Out of over 50 schools throughout New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania to apply for the grants, six schools were selected.  Schools were chosen on a competitive basis, with priority given to those demonstrating financial or circumstantial hardship.

The winning schools are:

  • Atlantic County Special Services School District, Mays Landing, NJ
  • The Ellison School, Vineland, NJ
  • Fitler Academics Plus, Philadelphia, PA
  • Overbrook High School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sumner Elementary School, Camden, NJ
  • University Heights Charter School, Newark, NJ

Each school will work with Young Audiences’ staff, and their roster of professional teaching artists, to plan first-quality arts programming tailored specifically for their schools’ unique needs. They will receive funding for a variety of initiatives, including:

  • professional artist performances at their school
  • in-depth, hands-on workshops with professional artists
  • professional development to help classroom teachers connect the arts to other learning
  • assistance in creating a community event celebrating students’ work

Winning schools have expressed how proud and excited they are to be a 2015-2016 recipient of a Target & Young Audiences grant.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant. This will give our students the opportunity to participate in a project that has real world applications and skills giving them increased self-esteem and respect for the arts,” said Sarah Friedley an educator in the Atlantic County Special Services School District. “The arts are of the utmost importance for our special needs population. This will open up a whole new world by building students motor skills, problem solving skills and socialization. We are all as teachers being faced with new challenges daily and trying so hard to maintain meaningful educational programs. This scholarship gives my students a once in a lifetime opportunity that they would not have had otherwise.”

Photo Caption: Students from Fitler Academics Plus School in Philadelphia, PA getting out from behind their desks in a Hip-Hop Fundamentals residency lead by YA teaching artists Mark Wong and Steve Lunger.


Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to nearly 700 schools each year. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. The organization annually reaches nearly 500,000 children pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network  of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @YANJEPA and on Instagram @young_audiences_njepa.