Volunteers provide creative workshop at West Clay

Students at West Clay Elementary presented a musical performance where they sang, danced and used props they had made themselves. The students took advantage of a two-week music and art workshop at the school that culminated in the musical production Thursday.
Staff Writer

West Clay Elementary does not have a music teacher at this time. To offer the children a chance to enjoy music and art, Principal Brad Cox approached Ginger Fowler and Thea Kay Tribble about presenting a music and art workshop at the school.

The results spoke for themselves Thursday morning as the children sang, danced, drummed and used props they had made themselves during the performance.

"These students don't have a music or art class," Fowler said. "We received an Arts in Education Grant, along with help from Prestage Farms, the West Point/Clay County Arts Council, Delta Kappa Gamma and First Baptist Church Children's Ministry, to have a two week workshop where we worked not only on the performance, but the children created the props."

Tribble was extremely proud of what the students had been able to accomplish in only two weeks.

"They made the trees to represent the seasons as the backdrop," Tribble said. "The children had so much fun during the workshop. We went home tired every night, but it was worth it."

The two week Music and Art Workshop took place during the normal Physical Education and Library periods.

"I think it is awesome for the volunteers from the community to come and spend their time at the school," West Point Consolidated School District Superintendent Burnell McDonald said. "I can't thank Thea Kay and Ginger enough along with First Baptist, Prestage Farms, Delta Kappa Gamma and the Arts Council for making this possible. It means so much for the students to have the opportunity to enjoy music and art."

In spite of not having music and art classes, West Clay Elementary does have a sixth grade beginner band, directed by Percy Jones. They were the last group to perform during the production.

"We had this before and threw it away," Jones said. "Now we want it back, we remember how good it was for the students to have music and arts. It's too important not to have it at our school."

Music and art teaches the children so much. It opens up the creative parts of their brain and it helps them to do well in other aspects of education, as well, Tribble said.