Posted in GAP News, Mississippi Art News

We LOVE The Lorax and National AmeriCorps Week

Have you seen it yet? It’s a magical adaptation based on the book by one of our all time favorite authors. Whenever we have the chance to share a little Dr. Seuss we do. Last week, Angela shared the Lorax with the YMCA students during their spring break. How fun!

On March 15, Angela Eustache, Arts in Education VISTA of the Greenville Arts Council hosted an environmental education art session with the YMCA of Greenville in honor of National AmeriCorps Week. “Spring is right around the corner and “The Lorax” recently debuted in movie theaters, so this is the perfect season to keep children’s minds engaged in learning about our environment while having fun,” says Eustache.

National AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. Eustache decided to say thank you to the Greenville AmeriCorps community partners by providing an educational and environmental stewardship with young children of the community.

The children participated in an interactive read-aloud of The Lorax, discussing the environmental hazards that happened in the story, and compared those events with hazards that are observed in real life. The group then went on a nature walk, exploring the trees and life forms that those trees support. After the lesson, the children were able to create their own designs of Truffula trees with paint, while adding any artifacts found on their nature walk to enhance their artwork.

For more information about National AmeriCorps Week, visit the website at

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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.