Cook County Schools get $40,000 grant for arts

    At the end of last year, the Georgia Department of Education announced that $260,000 would be given to 20 rural school districts.

    The stART grants are intended to expand arts initiatives or improve students’ access to the arts.

    Cook County is the only county in the state that received four $10,000 grants to distribute evenly between its four schools.

    After the $10,000 award for the fine arts program, art classes are more fun.

    Second grader Allie Carter said she enjoys being able to do something different.

    "I like that we get to paint and express our imagination in art," said Carter.

    Art teacher Patti Franklin said art is an important part of education.

    "I've realized through teaching art this year that it allows the kids to show their creativity without any fear," said Franklin. "That's what I like to promote is them to not being afraid to attempt to draw a picture."

    And her students agree.

    7-year-old Aliyah Jones said the class gives her freedom to make whatever she wants.

    "In art we get to paint we get to draw, we get to trace, we get to do anything," said Jones.

    Franklin said the money from the grant is appreciated, but will go quickly.

    "Half of the money will go toward supplies and replenishing and toward paint, you see the kids love to paint, so half the money will go toward supplies," said Franklin. "The other half, hopefully, we're gonna explore clay."

    Cook Elementary School plans on using the grant money for new instruments.

    The middle school is starting a digital photography program.

    Cook County High is going to purchase iPads to do more digital art.

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