NASAA Notes: December 2008

December
2008

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December 4, 2008

Massachusetts: Big Yellow Bus Program

A survey of public school principals conducted by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) reported that 9 out of 10 respondents planned to cut back on field trips in the coming year due to fuel costs. In September 2008, the MCC and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation launched the Big Yellow School Bus grant program. Inspired by Iowa’s Big Yellow School Bus program, the Massachusetts initiative provides $200 grants to meet the costs of providing educational field trips to cultural institutions and events for grades Pre-K to 12. Learning at cultural institutions is critical to a child’s academic development and helps to foster creativity and innovation. Field trips, says MCC Executive Director Anita Walker, “provide thousands of Massachusetts children their first or perhaps only opportunity to experience a live concert or play, or see a master work of art.” Since the program launched on September 29, 2008, the MCC has approved 365 grants totaling more than $70,000. Of the 365 schools, 58% have a higher-than-average percentage of low-income and special education students. The program is funded with $50,000 in public funds from the MCC and $100,000 from Bank of America. For more information, contact Massachusetts Cultural Council Communications Director Greg Liakos.

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