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Three Meridian Schools Receive Mississippi Arts Commission Grant

Three Meridian schools, Northwest Middle School, Oakland Heights Elementary, and Parkview Elementary, have each been awarded a $5000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission. These grants are a portion of the $1.5 million in grants the Commission will award in 2011-2012 and will be used to integrate arts into the classroom. These grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Organizations across the state who receive grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission continue to prove that arts programs are vital to the success of their community,” said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. “The arts provide a positive environment for learning, both in the classroom and in communities.”

Schools participating in the Whole School Initiative integrate the arts into the core curriculum with the goal of improving student achievement and student engagement.  The Whole School Initiative trains teachers through summer institutes, retreats, and on-site training to use movement, music, drama, and visual art to engage students in learning. For example, students might dance a concept in science, use a drawing to illustrate a math concept, or use an art print as a prompt for writing. Visiting artists and arts educators bring the arts into the school to further integrate the arts into the core curriculum.

“Research shows that the fine arts have always been an integral part of a well-rounded education,” said Superintendent Dr. Alvin Taylor. “We are elated that three of our schools have received this grant which will further broaden the educational horizon of our students.”

Poplar Springs Elementary, another MPSD school, has completed six years as a member of the MAC Whole Schools Initiative. The staff continues to provide arts integrated instruction as well as visiting artists and arts educators to engage students in learning.

The MAC is a state agency serving the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Miss. cultural heritage.  The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of the arts in community life and in arts education. For more information about the Mississippi Arts Commission, please contact Susan Dobbs at 601-359-6031 or sdobbs@arts.state.ms.us. 

 

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