Church Street Elementary students go green

Empty cans, worn-out window frames, even bed springs from a burned-out house are being repurposed for a Tupelo school’s upcoming arts festival.

“We’re recycling things into art,” Principal Kay Collins said as she showed off coffee tables, wall hangings and flowers fashioned by students at Church Street Elementary. The items will be displayed, and some auctioned, at the second annual Art & Soul festival, to be April 17.

For the past few weeks, art teacher Cindy Parker has kept students busy sanding and painting items for Art & Soul. Each student will have a piece of art on display at the festival, and classes also are working on group projects.

The idea behind the festival is simple. “We believe the arts plays a vital part in a child’s education, and we want to give our students more exposure to a variety of art mediums,” festival co-chairs Tabitha Easter and Trae Wyatt said.

The school also wants to be an integral part of the downtown community it serves, Collins said. The whole neighborhood is invited, she said, as well as former students and everyone else.

Local artists, among them painters and jewelry makers, will sell their work at the festival. While their parents are shopping, Collins said children are invited to create more art at centers to be set up on the grounds. Entertainment will be provided by the K-3 school’s second- and third-grade Harmony choirs, as well as the Lawhon Elementary School choir and dulcimer players from Tupelo.

Last year’s event raised $2,500, Easter said, which the school put right back into student learning.

Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or

Ginny Miller/Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio