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Students at 2 Lawton Schools Learning Math by Singing and Dancing

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Lawton, Okla._Can you imagine using singing and dancing as a way to learn math? Well, that's exactly what's happening at two Lawton elementary schools.

Kindergarten students at Ridgecrest Elementary and Pre-k students at The Learning Tree Academy are taking part in a week-long arts program that promotes creative problem-solving in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

Master Teaching Artist, Mary Gresock says, school is not what it used to be. She says this new program makes sure of it.

"Kids learn more just through the sense of play, and actually, adults do, too because you're relaxed, you're having fun, you're motivated," Gresock said.

Gresock is part of Wolf Trap, a nationally recognized foundation that promotes the use of music, drama and movement in the classroom to help children ages five and under grasp traditionally tricky subjects like math and logic.

"They're excited about what they're doing, and they want to learn more. They're learning their numbers, or they're learning the concepts you're trying to teach them, but they're learning it in a way that they're excited," Gresock said.

This week long experience isn't just something new for the students.

"We're working with the kids to also show and model for the classroom teacher how she might continue what we're doing. Hopefully the tools you're leaving her [the teacher] will be taken and used to continue to add the arts into her curriculum," Gresock explained.

Pre-K teacher at The Learning Tree Academy, Melissa Gibbs, is motivated to put her new knowledge to the test.

"I can put music with anything, and if that's going to help them remember it then I'm going to put music with everything," Gibbs said.

Already, Mrs. Gibbs understands just how important getting her students excited about learning is.

"If you can get them excited about things at an early age, then that carries on to kindergarten and then it just builds from there." Gibbs said.

Lawton is only one of ten towns in the entire nation receiving this special program, and that's all thanks to the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The one-week residency will end on Friday, October 12, but the plan is to integrate what the teachers have learned during the week and use it as a permanent tool in the classroom for years to come.

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