Elevate the Arts at Thomas St. Elementary

Reported by: Robert Byers
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Updated: 5/10/2013 4:03 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - A hot air balloon takes shape using bottle caps and some glue.

Students color by number and create a helicopter and other flying objects like a space ship!

It's all part of the annual art festival at Thomas Street Elementary in Tupelo.

This year's theme is Elevate the Arts.

Birds, planes, kites and more are being created during this day long event.

Second grader Graham Shelton said, "You're having a lot of fun coloring and drawing pictures."

Second grader Andrea Wilson said, "My favorite part of today was when we listened to the author tell us about his books and how they print the pictures in the books."

From writing to dancing and the use of colors, teachers say this isn't just about cutting and pasting materials together.

Teacher Jeni Chandler said, "As a teacher you realize all children are not the same. You can not teach every child the same. Bringing in the arts lets children express what their thinking is. It could be through visual arts, drama, creative writing or movement."

In some schools art programs are the first to go when budgets get tight.

In Tupelo Schools, the art programs remain strong.

There's even a billboard on North Gloster Street promoting it.

One Tupelo graduate and now an MSU art major volunteered Friday.

J.D. Cox said, "I feel it's important to have a creative outlet for kids. It needs to be more than math and science. It gives kids a chance to express themselves and grow their minds in a little different way."

Teachers also say this type of teaching falls in line with the new Common Core State Standards.
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