CLEVELAND, Tennessee - (WDEF) While most schools across the nation have been forced to cut back on extra curricular activities and eliminate programs that aren't directly related to math and reading, Mayfield Elementary School
in Cleveland is doing the exact opposite.
Mayfield has managed to keep its music and art programs in tact, something most school have struggled to do. Principal Dee Dee Finison said the survival of both programs is due to a school board that listened to the community.
"Our community as a whole is really very arts-oriented and they look at that part of our curriculum in the school system as something very important," Finison said.
The school has even been fortunate enough to add a computer education program thanks to a $110,000 grant.
The focus on a well rounded education is what attracted Kelly Reise when she moved her family to Cleveland from Northern California.
"When we moved here, I was extremely excited about the fact that we had all these extra curricular activities that the children were going to be able to still be a part of and be able to round out their education, Reise said.
When Reise left California, many if not most of the schools in that state were forced to eliminate music and art programs from their curriculum due to budget cuts.
Mary Ann Poplin, an art teacher at Mayfield said keeping these types of programs in place are vital to a child's overall educational growth.
"If we don't offer the art to them, they'll never know that they had a talent or an area they were really strong in so we have to give them that opportunity," Poplin said.
"We realize that children learn in different ways and different venues so the school board and district felt that art and music are every bit as important as math and reading because we do teach math and reading in both of those subjects," Finison said.
In an effort to give back to the community, the school will often showcase its students artwork and talent during various community events.