Posted in GAP News, Western Line School District

O’Bannon Elementary School to receive GHIO Award

For 30 years, the Greenville Arts Council has honored artists with roots in Washington County who have made a significant contribution to the world of art and have been recognized outside the Delta for their work. These awards are an important part of the Greenville Arts Council’s mission to promote and support the arts in the area.

The Arts in Education Award is given to an educator or group of educators who has enriched the lives of many with their support and enthusiasm for teaching, and love and knowledge of the arts. This year’s winner is O’Bannon Elementary School. In 2010, Western Line School District formally joined the Greenville Arts Partnership. The Greenville Arts Partnership is a collaboration between the Greenville Arts Council, Washington County Public School Districts and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, focused on full arts integration in elementary schools. Under the leadership of Superintendent Mr. Larry Green and Principal Ms. Sawanda Washington, O’Bannon Elementary fully embraced arts integration in their school setting. During the 2011-2012 school year, every child enrolled in the school participated in GAC sponsored programming, from their Grandparent’s Day program to Science Fun Day or by attending GAP sponsored plays or performances. The district was the first GAP partnership site to experience Family Reading Bonds, a 6-week program sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council that focuses on family reading and improved literacy. O’Bannon has been an outstanding and engaged part of the Greenville Arts Partnership. Mr. Green is the Superintendent of Western Line School District.

Greenville Honors Its Own is scheduled on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Greenville Arts Council at 662.332.2246. Along with reservations there are multiple sponsorship levels available. Funds raised at Greenville Honors Its Own help ensure that their programs are free or affordable and always accessible to everyone in Washington County Area.

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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.