Alston Middle School's arts infusion program helps students soar - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Alston Middle School's arts infusion program helps students soar

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The arts are a point of pride for students, parents, and staff at Alston Middle School in Summerville. We're in Dorchester county for our Cool School of the week.

Dance, music, theater, visual arts, they have it all at Alston, an arts infused middle school in Dorchester District Two. Principal Thad Schmenk says, "It's a point of pride for us. We have everything from dance, chorus, band, piano, guitar, the whole nine yards. One thing we boast about too is we have a creative writing program here, a teacher designated for that."

Alston is a community school where academics, the arts, and athletics come together. Teacher Lorraine White says, "Students come every single day they are in art cores. They have to choose what art core they would like to go in, and once they're in, they're tracked for three years." Talents are cultivated daily. Students are involved performances and competitions, and traditionally earn excellent and superior at local and regional competitions. Eighth grade student Yasmine Shivers says, "We have a really good academic program, and really good teachers, so that definitely adds a bonus to be able to have music, and drama and all of that. It's really good." Seventh grade student Alexander Harriman says, "Our school just works in many ways to make the students feel happy about coming here, the arts programs, the teachers, really everything at the school just makes it a Cool school."

Through Alston's art-reach program, students share their art gifts and skills with the community. Work by student visual artists are displayed in local businesses. Dancers perform at elder care facilities. Alston's PTSA helps fund this program. Alston also puts on a play each fall and a musical each spring. This year, they will host a "Scary Shakespeare" house.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we will present Alston with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at omitchell@wcbd.com. Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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