Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Jan. 9, 2008

Enrichment programs in FW schools

The article about drama being cut from Todd Beamer High School (Jan. 5) really just set me off.

Children have no more fine arts left in the district. I am a middle school art teacher at Sacajawea, and the PTA and administrators have succeeded so far in “saving” the art program, but there are only two middle school art teachers in the district and hardly an elective to be found.

We get in our car and listen to music, we watch animated movies and read manga cartoon books. We love looking at children’s books, which are beautifully and colorfully illustrated, and we enjoy a politcal cartoon. We like for our homes to be aesthetically pleasing with pretty dishes, pottery, sheets and furniture. We admire and envy artists and photographers and feel really “moved” when we attend a theater event or concert or go to an art museum.

In only the five years since junior highs became middle schools, foreign languages and all electives have been stripped from our children’s lives. At the high school, art is basically graphic art and many computer-generated assignments and orchestras are disappearing — as are high school choirs. Now it seems that drama is, too.

Our children are expected to know science and math, but will be culturally illiterate when they leave our public schools. Art makes you smart...all the arts do. Our city of Federal Way is diverse, and the arts and foreign languages stimulate our children’s brains and enrich their lives.

It is time for parents to realize that their children in the public schools are being short-changed. Johnny and Joan are going to grow up to be very dull children.

Jo Ann Hawkins, Federal Way

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