State Senator visits Oak Grove Primary School to learn about art - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

State Senator visits Oak Grove Primary School to learn about the arts

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Senator John Polk and Director of the State Arts Commission visited Oak Grove Primary School on Thursday to observe firsthand how an arts enriched curriculum inspires students to achieve and excel.

Research shows the arts benefit children in more ways than one.

"The Stennis Institute did a study on whole schools and it shows the growth in student achievement in these students and it cuts across all ethnic barriers it cuts across all demographics of lower economic students it shows that teaching through the arts can affect all students," said Tom Pearson, Director of the State Arts Commission.

State Senator John Polk toured Oak Grove Primary to see kids put the arts in motion.

"I was amazed at how well it seems to be working," Polk said.

"I saw things today that I just could not even comprehend until I saw how they integrate the arts into education and how it all ties together. I kinda knew it did, but I wasn't absolutely certain until today and the program is wonderful here at Oak Grove Primary," he added.

Oak Grove Primary's music teacher says the arts help children succeed far beyond the stage as they practice their holiday play.

"And it really helped them with their reading skills as well, because they were able to notice the different letters in their words and how to pronounce the beginning sounds and the ending sounds and how it was really important to pronounce even that final letter," said Nada Gasped.

Oak Grove Primary School was named a model school for the arts integration by the Mississippi Arts Commission's whole schools initiative and was awarded $4,500 in grant money for arts integrated instruction.