The After School Arts Program based in Washington, which serves the northwestern Connecticut, is accepting applications for the Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

The newly established annual award honors the spirit of Mr. McCourt, a teacher himself for some 30 years before gaining fame with his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, "Angela's Ashes," which was followed by "'Tis" and "Teacher Man."

Mr. McCourt was instrumental in establishing the Celebration of Young Writers, the ASAP's major fundraiser each year.

The chief goal of the McCourt Prize is to recognize teachers who have inspired students to become enthusiastic learners by devising imaginative assignments and techniques.

A secondary goal is to find and promote ideas and practices that can be adopted by other teachers.

All teachers in public and private schools who have students who participate in the After School Arts Program are eligible. for the award.

Teachers may nominate themselves or be nominated by others. Names of nominees and their schools should be submitted to ASAP.

Applications must be submitted by April 1 and may be downloaded at

For information, call 860-868-0740 or e-mail