Buskirk’s winning program, “Linking Literacy”, is a project that integrates formal art and music instruction with language arts. The objective of the program is to increase student vocabulary, fluency, word study skills, and oral language development while exposing them to various genres of music and art. Students at Gardens Elementary School will be exposed to great literature and explore a story through music and art elements. Interactive, research-based instructional activities in fine arts will be used to allow students to learn about essential works in literature, music, and art. Students will create a portfolio of creative-responsive activities including a picture book they will share within the school and the community. By sharing their work with others, students will show the importance of literacy and the impact fine arts can have on it. The funds from the ING grant will be used to purchase materials to implement the project including trade books for the multimedia center, CDs and DVDs, art supplies and musical equipment, and the cost for printing the student-made book. Buskirk, who lives in Pasadena, hopes the program will create meaningful connections for the students that will empower them to respond creatively to the world around them.