Area nonprofit partners with Murray State

MADISONVILLE -- An area nonprofit has partnered with Murray State University to expand its popular after-school arts program to classrooms in Hopkins County.

The Light of Chance Breathe Youth Arts program has cultivated creativity for area fifth through 12th graders for the past five years. MSU education majors now have the opportunity to work alongside Light of Chance staff in a residency program at Browning Springs Middle School in Madisonville.

According to a Light of Chance release, the residency program educates and fosters artistic expression, leadership and social skills through music, dance, creative writing and visual arts, while encouraging teamwork and teaching communication and problem-solving skills.

The program focuses on classroom education and at-risk youth.

MSU Assistant Professor and 2+2 Educational Coordinator Dr. Susan Edington praised the partnership, calling it a perfect example of how institutions with complimentary goals can collaborate for the benefit of students.

"With such current emphasis on the academic content standards, music, art and drama often become an after-thought in today's curriculum focus," Edington said in the release. "This collaborative effort among Light of Chance, Browning Springs and Murray State promotes the arts as a viable way to comprehend and enhance the academic content."

Browning Springs principal Jason Clark echoed Edington's sentiments.

"We want to allow the creativity and talents of our students to shine," Clark said in the release. "Working with Breathe and MSU students provides our Bears with a unique experience to express their artistry, and have fun while doing so."

A showcase was held last week at Browning Springs to display the art of middle-schoolers who have participated in the residency program.