Posted in GAP News, Greenville Public School District, Professional Development, Western Line School District

Meet Dr. John Hunt

Next fall the Greenville Arts Partnership will be hosting Professional Development on three different Saturdays, taught by Mississippi Teaching Artists that specialize in science, literacy, math and social science arts integration.

Dr. John Hunt of Pearl, Mississippi will be hosting Science Fun Day for students in grades 3-8 at Western Line School District on September 22 and 23rd, followed by Professional Development on Saturday, September 24th for educators in Greenville Public and Western Line School District. This will be the first time that Dr. Hunt will be presenting the program at a public school in the Mississippi Delta!

Dr. Hunt is a science educator who has lived and worked all over the world. He has taught science in K-12 schools as well as at the university level for 50 years. He is currently a professor of teacher education at Mississippi College. The first program he offers is staff development for designing lessons using Understanding by Design and Differentiated Instruction (UbD/DI) lesson format. These lessons combine concepts of science, language arts, art and music in engaging hands-on activities. This program may be scheduled on a space available basis year round. The second program, Science Fun Day, must be scheduled in August. This “Science Fun Day” involves students in grades 3-8 and parent volunteers in an interactive science and art experience during a school day. Parents are trained the preceding night to teach hands-on discrepant events to students. To date, through the fun day program, Dr. Hunt has reached 17, 000 students in grades 3-8 and taught 3, 000 parents. This past year, he conducted 17 interactive science and art fun days for 4,500 students and taught 600 parents! (from the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Artist Roster)

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The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.