- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Cameron Diaz, Paula Abdul and Macy Gray are joining a White House-sponsored initiative to help struggling schools through arts education.

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education are announcing the expansion of the Turnaround Arts initiative Wednesday.

Turnaround Arts started in 2011 with eight schools in eight states. The program is being expanded to 49 schools in 14 states.

The committee’s executive director, Rachel Goslins, says some of the original schools in program were on the brink of being closed.

Goslins says test scores improved at all the schools after arts instruction was introduced. Additionally, attendance increased and disciplinary problems decreased.

Diaz, Abdul and Gray are among the artists and performers who will help boost arts instruction at individual schools.

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