Pat Osborne: Support our Reed City Schools
TO THE EDITOR:
We have lived in the Reed City area for over 25 years and we love our community. One of the statement we heard from many when we first came was that the school system was strong and that parents and community members were supporters of the school staff, administration and the various programs they provided. Band concerts, football games, musicals, basketball games, art exhibits, track and field and other sporting events as well as elementary music programs were all well-attended and the community was generous in financially supporting fundraisers when they were needed.
However, we’re now having to deal with the stress of not being able to fund many areas of public education. With fewer students enrolled, uncertainties each year as to what the state funding will be and lay-offs of staff along with many local families having lost jobs as well, it’s difficult to keep morale up within the community. I have been saddened that music and art education have both been eliminated from the elementary curriculum. Our school board has been so supportive of these areas and it had to have been painful for them to omit these programs. These classes are part of the humanity — the heart and soul — of children, teens and adults. Creativity encourages higher thinking and problem-solving skills.
Although we have dedicated classroom teachers who love their students and want to give them as many positive experiences as possible, it’s unlikely that they will have time to plan, rehearse and produce programs for occasions like Veterans Day, Christmas, Grandparent’s Day and Kindergarten Stepping On. Gifted students will no longer have the opportunity to experience being part of an Honor’s Choir. There’s not enough time in their already-full schedules for educators to teach about various artists and the basic concepts of creating art projects. Hopefully, in the near future increased enrollment and finances will enable us to once more include these fine arts education classes in our children’s curriculum.
However, we need to remember that our schools still have committed teaching staff who care about out children, K-12. There are and will continue to be outstanding students from Reed City who are successful in life and will give back to the community that has supported them. Scholars, athletes, musicians and artists are still among us and we owe them the best we can give. Let’s look for and talk about the positive things about our schools and community. Maybe if we publicize and promote those successes, more families will choose to locate where their child can be nurtured and have a good experience during their school years. Reed City is still a great place to educate our children!
And volunteer in our schools whenever you can — It’s an awesome experience.
Music Educator and Volunteer