Steve Rogers

About Steve Rogers

Assistant News Director/Assignment Editor; degree in finance and administration from Yale University; 35 years experience in journalism.

Illustrator Turns Students on to Art

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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) — Students at one Northeast Mississippi elementary school get to see a veteran children’s book illustrator at work. It’s all part of an effort to further make the connection between art and other academic subjects at younger ages.

Michael P White has two primary passions — drawing and sharing his enthusiasm for art with young people. At Pierce Street Elementary in Tupelo Thursday, he was able to do both.

Each student was given several pieces of paper and a pencil and White spent the entire day teaching youngsters about art, showing them how to turn an idea into a story.

“My program is called the start of something big cause they are actually doing what I do for a publisher, then they run with these ideas that I draw, and they’re going to have these drawings on their paper,” White explained of his program.

White also shared his story with the classes and encouraged the students to pursue their dreams and goals.

Media Specialist Amy Chiles says the interactive presentation was entertaining and educational.

“That’s what it’s all about. They’re having fun and they don’t even realize they’re learning things, it’s not just sit down and listen to me talk,” she said.

Students gained a new appreciation for art and reading. Plus, they had a great time.

“It was very good,”said third-grader Trisha Jalette. ” I learned that I can be an artist, even though I’m not that good at it,” added Emerie Driskill.

” When you draw you can just draw anything and once you draw it on the paper it can turn out really good.”

Emphasizing the arts and bringing in guests like Michael P White is one reason Pierce Street is a model school for the Mississippi Arts Commission. In fact, educators from around the country come here to get ideas to better integrate arts and education and make learning more of an adventure for students.