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WXXI ARTS INFOCUS

Music has a way of touching every one of us. Some of us may have a deep appreciation for the artistry in making music, others may appreciate its ability to convey emotion and transport us to a different place.

But, as shown at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance, music can also be used as a form of therapy. Expressive Arts sessions improve the quality of life for people who are well, and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities, disorders, illnesses, or learning differences. 

NASA

Rochester’s East High School is part of a select group chosen to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. It’s a program that sends the hard work of high school students on a real mission to outer space. On this edition of Need to Know, WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons takes us inside East High to meet the trio responsible for sending a local microgravity experiment to NASA.

Once again this year, President Obama hailed the nation's high school graduation rate as it reached another record high — a whopping 83 percent.

www.gpb.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to offer free tuition at New York public colleges to eligible residents. 

The Democrat unveiled his plan Tuesday morning at LaGuardia Community College in Queens alongside U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. During the senator's unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, Sanders pushed for free tuition at all U.S. public colleges. 

SHUTTERSTOCK

The New York State Education Department has awarded $10 million in grant funding to 56 organizations across the state taking part in My Brother's Keeper initiatives, which address the need to help some students of color realize their full potential in school.

Among the awardees is the Rochester City School District, which will receive $1.3 million, the largest grant given to any one school district in the state, to create My Brother’s Keeper programs and strategies for K-12 students in the region.

A committee of the state Board of Regents recommends spending $2.1 billion more on schools in the new state budget, saying it’s time to continue an effort begun a decade ago to funnel more money to the state’s poorest school districts.

The State Aid subcommittee’s recommendations, which are expected to be approved by the full Board of Regents later Tuesday, would phase in, over three years, an annual increase of 7 percent on school funding, for a total of $2.1 billion more a year by the 2019-20 school year.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Each year the FIRST Lego League competition has a different theme.

This year was all about “Animal Allies”, and encouraged participants to explore interactions between humans and animals, and how they can work together in a more cohesive away. A regional championship was held Sunday at the University of Rochester.

The championship is a 4 part competition. One part has the teams completing a research project based on the theme.

Colton Adiletta and his team from Bay Trail Middle School talked about their shark repellant idea.

Alex Crichton

The World of Inquiry's senior class took part in a college march Friday, bringing along with them a letter of intent, and a thank you for people who helped them along the way.

It was the third College March for graduating seniors at the school, as they marched from the School of Inquiry on University Avenue all the way to Rochester City Hall, about a 20 minute walk on a cold December morning.

The team leading the effort to move the needle on poverty in Rochester is analyzing the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Updated figures based on a survey from the five year period between 2011 and 2015 show an increase in extreme poverty in the city of Rochester, at 17 percent. Overall poverty was down slightly from 33.8 to 33.5 percent.

The New York State Assembly Committee on Education met Monday morning to examine and study existing and new ways to support and improve the academic success of English Language Learner or ELL students in New York State's school districts.

Almost 9% of the states 2.6 million public school students are ELL's and they speak over 200 languages.

Assembly member Ron Kim referenced his own English language learning journey, and asked how quality control of ELL teachers will be determined.

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