Grants bring art, space education to students
Published 7:00 am Friday, October 16, 2015
Sixth-grade students at South Side Elementary School will gain real-world experience in the arts thanks to a $14,590 grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation.
The Artful Thinking grant will combine science, technology, reading, engineering and mathematics into an arts education by funding field trips to art museums and live theater productions as well as the purchase of classroom supplies such as chrome books and 3-D printers, which students can utilize during class to paint, write and create art.
Debbie Smith, the school’s principal, said the grant will allow students to experience all forms of art, which they aren’t typically exposed to in the classroom due to the school’s limited budget.
The school currently allots some enhancement money to teachers every year for the purchase of art supplies, but it’s never enough, Smith said. However, the grant will play a positive role in providing students with an education in the arts.
“Our teachers go above and beyond and this grant is a prime example of where we’re headed as a school,” Smith said.
Dr. Jeremy Williams, the school’s sixth-grade reading and language arts teacher, said educating students about different art forms will benefit them in the long run.
“The students that attend our school will often times not have experienced the world of arts,” Williams said. “Our hope is that the Artful Thinking grant will help students learn how to create art and learn about the old school art forms hands-on, and through technology.”
At the end of the year, students will compile what they’ve learned and showcase their art projects in an exhibit at the school, Williams said.
The school also received a $9,500 grant from LPRVF to fund field trips and expose fifth-grade students to astronomy and mythology through field trips to the Kenner Planetarium and a classroom project that will allow students to construct an actual working planetarium that will be presented to the school’s students, faculty and staff, Smith said.
Peggy Williams, a fifth-grade reading teacher, said the Canvassing the Cosmos grant will allow teachers to show students they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
“We want to show our kids that education allows you to dream big and do things you never thought you could do,” Williams said.
Smith added, “Our goal for both grants is to allow our students an opportunity to understand that education extends beyond the books that we read in the classroom-setting and to inspire their thinking in connection to real-life experiences.”
The two grants will aid the school’s three fifth-grade and three sixth-grade classrooms respectively.
Smith hopes to continue applying for grants in the future in order to provide the best education for their students.