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WHAT IS THE LEGACY 166 GAP INITIATIVE?
Board of Directors
City of Mobile
Eric Barnett Jefferson,
Equine Therapy Group
The Graduation through Arts Participation (GAP) Initiative was created by Legacy 166 to fulfill the Mission of the organization to reduce the effects of Intergenerational Poverty through Arts, Culture, Education, and Community Collaborations. Education is a key component in the reduction of poverty. Graduation rates in underserved communities are severely low when compared to more affluent communities across the country. Those rates are even lower in the Deep South. Arts Education provides a successful strategy in engaging at-risk youth in main stream education. Studies have shown that children engaged in the Arts; have higher attendance rates, fewer disciplinary infractions, have improved math and standardized math scores, and have higher graduation rates.
GAP was developed in response to these outcomes and opportunities made available by the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS). The MCPSS has a full range of Arts
Education options in all of the system’s high schools. However, there is only one school each on the elementary and middle school levels dedicated to the Arts. Our initiative is designed to fill in that “gap” in Arts Education at elementary and middle schools by exposing children to the Arts in underserved communities.