Artsmart program promotes art as teaching tool

MERIDIAN, MS – To promote the arts as a teaching tool across all subjects, the MSU Riley Center announced on Monday, September 14th a new partnership with 16 local schools. The schools will be known as Riley Center Arts in Education Schools, and the program is called Artsmart.

The Riley Center launched the program for the 2015-2016 school year with the slogan “all children deserve the arts … the arts help make our kids smart.” Artsmart will include three workshops designed to train teachers in using the arts as a classroom instructional tool. Tommy Dulaney and his company, Structural Steel Services, Inc., are providing corporate sponsorship for the teaching artist presenters who are coming from New Mexico, Virginia and Washington, DC, to share best practices in arts integration.

Charlotte Tabereaux, Education Director said,  “The arts integration training we are offering opens a wonderful world of teaching in and through the arts to deepen critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.  Arts integration uses teaching practices that have been shown in brain-based research to improve comprehension and long-term retention.  In more and more schools across the nation, arts integration is proving to be highly effective in engaging and motivating students. It supports academic achievement and improved social behavior of students while enhancing school climate and parental involvement. It’s fun!”

Both education and the arts help form the core of the Riley Center’s mission. In fact, the center’s full name is the MSU Riley Center for Education & Performing Arts. Teachers participating in Artsmart will receive study guides and other resource materials from Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a longtime Riley Center partner. At the end of the school year, the teachers and their schools will be recognized at an awards ceremony as the first Riley Center Artsmart graduates and Riley Center Arts in Education Schools.

The program’s three teacher workshops will take place at the Riley Center. Here are the dates and topics:

·        October 6, 2015: “Addressing Bullying Through Drama”

·        November 12, 2015: “Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies Through Visual Art”

·        January 27, 2016: “Songs to Educate: Music and Movement”

Teachers who attend the workshops will also receive follow-up training and, if needed, mentoring and coaching. Teachers will be able to share ideas with colleagues through a blog about their experiences. Dr. Tabereaux and the Riley Center will assist participating schools with seeking grants, choosing visiting artists, raising funds for art supplies and meeting other needs.

Here are Meridian Public School District schools that are Riley Center Arts in Education Schools:

·        Oakland Heights Elementary School

·        Poplar Springs Elementary School

·        T.J. Harris Lower Elementary School

·        West Hills Elementary School

·        Carver Middle School

·        Northwest Middle School

·        Meridian High School

The following Lauderdale County School District schools are also Riley Center Arts in Education Schools:

·        Northeast Lauderdale Elementary School

·        Southeast Lauderdale Elementary School

·        West Lauderdale Elementary School

·        Clarkdale Middle School

·        Northeast Lauderdale Middle School

·        Southeast Lauderdale Middle School

·        Clarkdale High School

·        West Lauderdale High School

The following Private school is also a Riley Center Arts in Education School:

·        St. Patrick Catholic School

Schools, teachers and anyone else interested in learning more about Artsmart can contact Dr. Tabereaux at 601-696-2204 or  


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