2020 Grants Challenge

Crayon Collection's Arts in Education Expansion

Our Arts in Education program provides free, artist inspired lesson plans formatted by volunteer educators to teach common core standards. Art in education has been shown to help with comprehension of STEM and literacy concepts and offers students an outlet to process trauma and develop self-discipline, self-management, and interpersonal relationship skills. For kids in underfunded communities with limited resources, we use art to facilitate student growth, increasing the chances of participants graduating and pursuing further education.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Across the United States, and specifically in Los Angeles, schools are faced with slashed budgets and limited resources. Often, these cuts lead to the loss of arts education in entire schools, despite research showing that high arts engagement in elementary school increases the chances of low-income students graduating high school and makes them three times more likely to receive a bachelor’s degree. By providing these materials and lessons, our program helps to close gaps left by budget cuts, promoting social, economic and racial equity in the communities we serve and helping to ensure students’ future success. Additionally, each year the average teacher spends over $900 a year on supplies. Working with our partner artists, we regularly support teachers through classroom visits which provide us the opportunity to teach our lesson plans and donate an entire classroom supply of crayons to teachers and students in need.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Crayon Collection has been working in Title 1 schools and Head Start centers in Los Angeles for ten years, supplying lesson plans and art supplies to classrooms most in need. In 2018, we set a Guinness World Record for the most crayons donated in 8 hours when we donated over 1 million crayons and our Arts in Education lessons to over 700 LAUSD teachers. We currently work directly with 20+ Title 1 schools and Head Start centers across Los Angeles to provide recycled crayons and art-based education to over 2,000 students. Additionally, relationships with professional artists and educators put us in a unique position to create new, art-based lesson plans for our curriculum, given the funding to do so.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 2,500

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

In California, 61% of schools are lacking even one full-time arts specialist, with low-income areas having the least funding for arts-based curriculum. Research by the National Endowment for the Arts has shown that high levels of art based education in low-income areas raises the average GPA by .22 and increased the percentage of 12th graders who planned to earn a Bachelors from 42 to 61%. Investing in programs like Crayon Collection’s Arts in Education program helps to close gaps left by limited funding directly increasing a student’s future chances of success.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Crayon Collection would like to expand and redevelop parts of our Art in Education curriculum to provide 30 lesson plans total, enough for educators to be able to use one a week for the duration of the school year. We currently serve approximately 2,000 underserved students in Los Angeles a year and would like to double this number in the next twelve months. A study conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts found that students from low-income communities who had high engagement with the arts were 5x more likely to graduate high school and 3x more likely to receive a bachelor’s degree. Short term, we should find improved academic performance which will be tracked through participant/classroom’s grades over the school year.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

Arts education

College matriculation

High school graduation rates

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to CREATE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Strategy assistance and implementation