Education is at it’s worst in this country. Schools are closing. The remaining one’s are overcrowded, yet staff is being cut right and left. All of the emphasis is on teaching tests and so classes and afterschool programs of sports recreation, language, art, music, dance and especially theatre are disappearing, and so is the imagination of our young people. Dreams are inspired by small seeds of reality that then blossom with possibility. If we don’t show kids what’s possible how will they ever realize their potential?
If you are even remotely familiar with who I am and what I stand for you know that the arts are important to me as an individual performer, as a community member, and most assuredly as a mom. My children have always been exposed to and participatory in various arts related programs. My eldest daughter Kaiann in particular. She has had the great fortune to be cast in shows around the city. However, her most recent production was especially important to her because it was at her elementary school, A.N. Pritzker. This past weekend Kaiann starred as Peter Pan in the musical Peter Pan.
She worked for months, with dozens of classmates, in preparation for the full length production. Granted it was trying at times, given Kaiann’s experience with more professional theatre, but it was vital to her to be a part of her school show for a sense of camaraderie… kinship… community.
Kaiann felt special when she recently played the role of Little Inez in a community theatre production of Hairspray, but that was nothing compared to the sense of accomplishment she experienced performing with, and in front of her peers and their families, at her very own school.
It is that very feeling of personal accomplishment, of dreams coming true, that programs in the arts gives to children. It motivates them to reach forward, sideways, deeper and generally outside the box. And in a World that is desperate for creative solutions can we really afford to not teach our children how to be imaginative in their approach towards the future? I don’t think so.
So let’s all “think lovely thoughts” about the future of education. Let’s imagine a Neverland inspired future filled with schools where dreams are free to take flight and imaginations are encouraged soar. Clap your hands if you believe.
Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista , ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.