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A teaching artist visits Crestwood Elementary School students

The Meridian Public-School District is integrating the arts in the classroom by bringing in an expert teacher teaching the art of dance. Mary Francis Massey is all too proficient in teaching dance.

“The passion came from my parents, we own a dance studio in Tupelo, North Mississippi Dance Center. I’ve been teaching dance since I was 17 and then got into the school systems,” said Mary Frances Massey.

Teachers at Crestwood Elementary School were able to learn about the benefits that come with arts integration.

“I'm showing them different ways they can get these kids to learn with hands on learning and physical learning,” Frances said.

The physical learning all comes from a popular book written by Doctor Sues.

“She’s teaching a lesson using a book, "My Many-Colored Days" and talking about a motion using movement and music to help students express that emotion,” said Clair Huff, MPSD Coordinator.”

Massey says after reading the book she felt it would be perfect to tie into the classroom dance exercises.

“We found this book and thought how great it would be to tie into the emotional unit, to talk to the kids about the way that they feel, how important to express their feelings and being able to find an adult or another student to talk to about their feelings.” Said Frances.

Massey adds how kinesthetic movements helps students to perform well academically.

“Physical learning helps with kids test scores, with how they act in the classroom and then in turn it goes into their lives outside of school,” said Frances.

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