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Noteworthy

Cameron Diaz Will Teach Broward Elementary Students About The Arts

School may be out for summer, but Broward's elementary students already have something to look forward to when they return in the fall.

Actress Cameron Diaz, Broadway star John Lloyd Young and opera singer Carla Dirlikov are adopting three low-performing elementary schools in Broward County as part of the White House’s Turnaround Arts initiative.

Since May 2012, the program has worked to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts. It reaches 22,000 students across 14 states, and Broward is one of five school districts to which the initiative is now expanding.

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"All children deserve to have access to the arts, not only to discover their passion, but as a tool to engage them in the joy of learning," said Diaz, who will be working with Bethune Elementary School in Hollywood.

Young, who played Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys on Broadway, will work with Fort Lauderdale’s Walker Elementary School; Dirlikov has adopted Lake Forest Elementary in Pembroke Park.

Over the next two years of their commitment, the three artists will make multiple visits to their respective Broward elementary schools. They’ll work directly with students and teachers by hosting workshops and other activities, and most will be hosting kick-off events when school starts, according to Turnaround Arts representative Jody Arlington.

In the past, American painter and photographer Chuck Close bussed in his students from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to New York City for one of his art openings, Arlington said.

The elementary schools may benefit from new art supplies, musical instruments, and trainings on arts education.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie said resources like these will be going toward the school district’s highest priority schools.

“Classrooms that are rich in the arts help us to provide important opportunities for creative expression and discovery in developing well-rounded students,” he said.