Posted in Arts Experiences, GAP News, Greenville Public School District

Meet the Judges: Michael Smith

We’re getting excited that Poetry Out Loud is right around the corner! To lead up to the competition next week, we will be featuring a biography of each of the three judges, information about the poems being presented, and the history of Poetry Out Loud. Read more about POL judge Michael Smith after the jump!

Michael Smith is an Assistant Professor of English and Editor of Tapestry at Delta State University. Michael received a Master’s of Fine Arts at University of Notre Dame, a Master’s of Arts at Hollins College, and a Bachelor of Arts at University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Michael teaches Introduction to Literature:  Poetry and Drama, Expository Writing, Poetry Writing Workshop, Advanced Poetry Writing, American Literature II, Contemporary Literature, Composition, and a Literary Magazine Workshop at DSU.

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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.