Elizabeth Banks, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rashida Jones join White House’s Turnaround Arts Initiative

By Chelsea Lewis ,

The current White House administration is expanding its Turnaround Arts program. The program is an initiative designed to bring arts programs to failing schools and this could help to boost student achievement.

Many celebrities have served as “Turnaround Artist” reps, including Scandal star Kerry Washington. Now the programing is adding a few famous representatives including; Elizabeth Banks, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Elton John, Josh Groban, Marc Anthony and Rashida Jones.

Variety reported that this initiative is funded through a public-private partnership in part with $5 million from the Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation.

First Lady Michelle Obama, recently spoke about these additions to the program. "The Turnaround Arts program has exceeded not just our expectations, but our wildest hopes and dreams. With the help of this program and some School Improvement Grants, math and reading scores have gone up in these schools… attendance is up, enrollment is up…parent engagement is up… suspensions have plummeted…and two of the schools in our pilot improved so dramatically that they are no longer in turnaround status. And today, the students in these schools are engaged in their education like never before," said First Lady Obama.

The Huffington Post added that Banks is currently working on the sequel to the popular Pitch Perfect, which will also be her first major directorial debut.

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