The National Barbie Arts Teacher of the Year award honors outstanding elementary-school arts teachers whose talent and creativity have a lasting impact on children. The award, which is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Arts Education Initiative, strives to raise the awareness of the need for arts education in schools and to recognize teachers who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to providing an arts curriculum to elementary-school students. Twenty regional finalists will be named in June, with each of their arts programs receiving a $5,000 grant from the Entertainment Industry Foundation. In the fall, one teacher from the regional finalists will be announced as the National Barbie Arts Teacher of the Year, receiving an additional $10,000 grant for his or her arts program and a trip to Los Angeles. To nominate a teacher, students ages six to 12 must submit an original essay (250 words or less) explaining why their arts teacher (dance, music, theater, or visual arts) should be named the Barbie Arts Teacher of the Year.

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