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Arts in the Classroom & Whole Schools


"I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all who helped, presented, served and contributed to the workshop.  This will be my first year to teach using this strategy, and I am so grateful for all that I was able to learn in Meridian at the Whole Schools Summer Institute.   I walked away with a portfolio of information that will enrich and guide me through this year, which can only better my abilities and aid my third graders.
                                               Dena Kinsey
                                               St. Richard Catholic Schoo

The Whole Schools Initiative is about comprehensive school reform using the arts, and requires a strong six-year commitment from the school and district. It is expected that school districts and the communities in which they exist will continue to support their Whole Schools project site after the six years is complete. Unlike the other grant categories, Whole Schools offers, indeed requires, a training component. The Initiative is open to elementary, middle and high schools. The goal of the Initiative is to educate every child in a school in and through the arts. All members of the school community play an important role in this Initiative: the superintendent, the principal, arts and classroom teachers, students, parents, community organizations, local artists and businesses.

Schools participating in the Whole Schools Initiative are supported through service grant funds, professional development and technical assistance. The schools needs to be effectively engaged and exhibit growth to remain in the program. Service grants include professional development and on-site training of teachers through arts integrated curriculum models; grant management, and a field advisor.


Visit the Whole Schools website »

Arts in the Classroom

Arts in the Classroom (AIC) is a program designed to primarily provide professional development for teachers and administrators of preK-12 schools in the foundations of arts integration as a teaching tool to enhance teaching skills and improve student achievement through the infusion of the arts into the basic curriculum. Secondly, pure arts experiences in visual and performing arts are brought into the school by artists and teaching artists to enrich the lives of students and teachers by increasing their skills and knowledge in all arts disciplines. AIC is a way to bring more arts into the school environment

For more information about Arts in the Classroom or to discuss an application to the program, contact the Whole Schools Initiative Director, Andrea Coleman at 601/359-6040 or

Whole Schools Initiative: Goals

The Commission’s goal for this initiative is to foster sequential, comprehensive arts education programs that

  1. serve every student in a single school and
  2. offer the prospect of being replicated in other parts of Mississippi.

Schools participating in the Whole Schools Initiative Implementation Phase:

If you are currently a Whole Schools site, funds will be used to continue the project in your school, building on prior grant activities, following the scope and sequence of your long-term plan for arts integration and showing evidence of progression. See the Guidelines for Whole Schools Implementation Grants.

Schools interested in joining the Whole Schools Initiative:

If you are interested in becoming a Whole Schools Project site, please contact the Whole Schools Program director, Andrea Coleman at 601-359-6040 or for more information.