Saltillo Elementary promotes art with activities

Saltillo Elementary School hosted its third annual Day of the Arts on April 21.
The annual event is organized to increase parent involvement and educate parents about our Whole Schools Arts Initiative. The Whole Schools Initiative, Mississippi’s first comprehensive statewide arts education program, uses the arts as a vehicle for promoting high-quality instruction and learning for students in all disciplines. The unique program applies the learning power of visual and performing arts across the entire curriculum.
On the Day of the Arts, 130 parents were able to participate in arts integrated activities such as soap carving, printmaking, watercolor, and hands-on science experiments that reflect our Book of the Month. Parents were also present to view the visiting artist, parent resource center, book fair and the Newbery Award Induction Ceremony.
Funding for the Day of the Arts was made possible through the National Education Association Student Achievement Grant received this year. Saltillo Elementary was able to purchase classroom copies of the Book of the Month: “Two Bobbies” by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. The book highlights the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Grant money helped to purchase art supplies and support materials such as a Walter Anderson print gallery that will be a permanent fixture in the library. Grant money also helped enlist award winning artist Dayton Scoggins to demonstrate his chainsaw wood carvings. Scoggins is known for his works of art throughout the Gulf Coast sculpted from the many trees damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The Saltillo Elementary Day of the Arts as well as the Whole Schools Art Initiative has transformed our school environment visually and culturally. The increased sense of community has led to more teacher collaboration. Exemplary art-infused thematic units have been used throughout the school and incorporate the book of the month.