For six years our school received a grant and was a part of the Whole School Initiative sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission. As part of this initiative we strove to use the arts (visual arts, drama, dance, creative writing, and singing) to teach the state's objectives. We had a tremendous amount of positive feedback from students and staff as we invited artists in to train teachers to use the arts and exposed our students to a myriad of hands-on activities. When the grant ran out, our superintendent and our district have continued to allow Madison Middle School to receive funds in order to have our students be challenged in creative ways as they receive a well rounded education. This year, due to budget constraints, our PTO has agreed to fund some of these arts activities. We have a number of artists (musicians,dance instructors,visual artists, and specialists from a variety of fields) on tap to come to our school this year. We are encouraged by the success we've experienced thus far over the years in offering stimulating higher order thinking experiences for our students and are excited to see how this year unfolds and look forward to witnessing many "light bulb moments" for our students and staff.Mrs. Schelver teaches sixth grade and one section of seventh grade art semester courses. During the first semester, she teaches the basic elements of art: line, shape, mass/form, space, texture, value, and color and the second semester covers the principles of design. Projects which directly relate with the information that's being taught are created, and students are exposed to an overview of some of the great artists of all time. Mrs. Schelver serves as the project director for the arts-related student enhancement funds, and is the chairperson of the Arts Committee, which presently has the following members: Dee Walsh, Teresa McLelland, Jan Bruening, Suzanne Ray, Elizabeth Marsh, Elise Payne, Catie Stoltzfus, Sandy Weicks, Mary Leigh Ochoa, Kathy Maze, and Kay Franz.