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The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH)has launched a new arts education initiative to help turn around low-performing schools. The Turnaround Arts initiative is designed to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts and will be implemented in some of the nation’s lowest-performing elementary and middle schools. The program will test the hypothesis that high-quality integrated arts education improves achievement, motivates learning and contributes towards overall school reform.


The Turnaround Arts Initiative was launched in 2012 to hire arts and music teachers, purchase supplies and instruments and train educators to integrate this program with core subjects such as math and science. Three Oahu schools will be involved in the Turnaround Arts Initiative – Kalihi Kai Elementary, Kamaile Academy Public Charter School and Waianae Elementary. These schools will receive funding and resources for three years.

turnaround initiative progress

The program also works with celebrity artists who will work directly with students and teachers to support their arts education, Hawaii’s celebrity artists who will be involved in the program are Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro and actress Alfre Woodard. Jack Johnson will be working with Kamaile Academy Public Charter School and Waianae Elementary and Jake Shimabukuro will be working with Kalihi Kai Elementary. The Turnaround Initiative was expanded after a study found that the program helped improve academic achievement.

For more information on the program and to track the progress of the program, click here. 

Turnaround Initiative Progress

TUF Quote

TUF Quote

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

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