PASA students R.I.S.E. above the rest

Taylor Graffman and Taylor Martinez embrace after being told the theatre program won a $10,000 grant. All the students were excited to receive the news and some even emotional.


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Out of 1,000 applicants, only 50 high schools across the nation were awarded NBC's R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America grants.

Henryetta High School was among the 50 chosen to receive a $10,000 grant to support their theatre department.

According to a press release from NBC earlier this week, the program, inspired by NBC's upcoming drama "Rise" about a high school theatre department and its effects on a small town, awarded a half million dollars total to high school theatre programs across the country.

The grant will cover the critical needs of each school's theatre programs, ranging from production expenses to technical eqiupment and master classes.

To qualify for the grant, high schools were required to have an existing theatre program or a champion of theatre arts in their teaching staff in cases where a school's theatre program was cut because of budget restraints.

Each school was required to submit a video celebrating their theatre program, a 500-word essay explaining why their school should be awarded the grant and how they will use the $10,000 should they win. Also, the schools submitted a letter of recommendation from a school principal or superintendent endorsing the application.

On Monday, students gathered together at Henryetta to receive the news. After the announcement was made, students cheered in celebration.

“Our kids are a really ambitious, talented and hard working group. I think this grant will really help to further their program and I am really happy for them,” Dwayne Noble, Henryetta Public Schools Superintendent said.

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