Students at New Albany Middle School recently participated in Gratitude Along the Tanglefoot, a writing and art competition asking local students to answer the question, “What are you thankful for?” through various mediums. The event was organized by M Partner, an initiative of the University of Mississippi that works to improve quality of life in partner communities.
The City of New Albany was an M Partner community from 2018-2020.
Anna Giachelli and Mallory Horn, English Language Arts teachers, offered their 6th grade Advanced Communication classes options to respond in a variety of ways.
Some students drew pictures and wrote fictional stories while others shared personal experiences and thoughts. Tracy Vainisi’s EXCEL and art students paired poetry they wrote about gratitude for things in nature with independent art projects. Vainisi’s students produced a variety of two- and three-dimentional art projects using new and recycled items.
The trio of teachers all agreed that giving students an authentic audience, in this case university members and the community, their work has a more meaningful purpose. They learn how to find their voice and are able to share it with the world.
The submissions will be judged by a panel of community leaders and M Partner representatives. Selected student work will be uploaded to an online gallery on the McLean Institute Facebook page (@McLeanUM), and selected pieces will be displayed in New Albany’s business district.
This festival encourages community participation and collaboration at a safe distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, while simultaneously engaging local students’ creativity.
New Albany Middle School staff is thankful for the support they receive from members of the community and wishes students and their families a Happy Thanksgiving.
Art, media, Middle School, New Albany, Northeast Mississippi, thankful, Union County