Published: Jul 31, 2012 2:54 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The U.S. Department of Education Tuesday announced the award of more than $1.2 million in grants to school districts in California, Florida, Nevada and New York to train arts educators serving high-poverty schools.

Under the Arts in Education-Professional Development for Arts Educators program, the funds will support high-quality model training programs in elementary and secondary education for music, dance, drama, media arts, or visual arts. The grants are especially targeted at schools with students from low-income backgrounds.

The grant recipients include:

CA-North Highlands, Twin Rivers Unified School District, $348,564.

FL-Lee County, School District of Lee County, $257,835.

NV-Las Vegas, Clark County School District, $296,753.

NY-New York City, Community School District #25, $353,960 

In Florida, the Lee County School District intends to use its grant for Project AIM (Arts Integration for Motivation). The effort will target high-poverty students as well as students who are low performing in reading and mathematics at four schools – one K-8, one middle and two high schools. Together, the schools enroll more than 4,500 students.