MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Students from Poplar Springs Elementary School got to play with instruments, paint, dance, and learn about the arts Friday.
“Poplar Springs is a Whole Schools for the Mississippi Arts Commission; we are a Model School for the Arts Commission, which means that we integrate arts into our curriculum throughout the year,” says Heather Pouncey, the lead teacher & arts coordinator at Poplar Springs Elementary. “Teachers integrate music, drama, movement, and visual arts into the math, reading, and science curriculum.”
Artists and art organizations from across our area presented to the students.
“The arts is an event where students are able to express themselves,” Pouncey says. “Students all learn in different ways, and doing something like this gives those students a way to show how they learn, how smart they are in their own way, arts keeps students engaged in the classroom, it makes them more excited about coming to school. It just keeps them all more involved.”
Tobias Griffin was one of the presenters, and he taught the student’s hip-hop dance. As a Meridian School District alumnus, he wants to give the students an experience he never got to have in elementary school.
“It’s real important because I know growing up here in Meridian, they didn’t have what I’m doing right now back in my day,” Griffin explains. “They didn’t have somebody coming around here teaching them dance, keeping them influenced, keeping them inspired to stay in school, to chase their dreams and stuff like that. I didn’t have anybody traveling from school to school to dance and to talk to everybody and show that they can do what they want to do after grade school, after college.”
The Celebrate Arts Festival has been going on at Poplar Springs Elementary School for over 10 years.