Do we as a society truly understand the importance of the arts in our schools?
Really take sometime to sit & think about the cause and effect it has on our children... especially the children in the urban communities (The Hood).
Which is the only community really effected by the budget cuts in the schools.
Arts help to promote self-esteem, self pride, confidence it also gives the children a sense of being; the ability to use their mind while creating a wonderful and positive thought process, which will allow them to evolve into mature young adults (and responsible adults) with a zest for life!
The more we teach SNAP POP n' ROCK workshops in schools in the NY/NJ areas we're finding that these kids have low self-esteem issues, don't believe in themselves with No real dreams and aspirations.
Some of them even question whether they have a right to have any wants or needs. They are angry, sad, depressed and many complain about the absence of their parents in some form.
This is heart breaking, how can such young kids feel like this at such an early age.
How can we make a difference to change this, and why do we as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc continue to allow this to happen in our communities?
It's simple because the parents are younger and younger every year. Growing up with the kids they bare... not knowing or understanding what it takes to be parents let alone a productive member of society.
The concept of self-respect for themselves and others has gone right out the window.
Why is it that we are so complacent as a society? Everyone is busy pointing the finger and no one is taking any responsibility.
Well here's a thought... spread the word to your family and friends!
Write our local congressman (or woman) go to any district meeting...
ask anyone that is a parent to make sure to attend any and all parent teacher conferences in the schools there kids attend and actively participate on behalf of your child/ren.
I'm true believer in (the old school thought) it takes a village to rise a child (within certain limitations).
Lets start caring about our kids again; Let us support, encourage, and applaud our kids for there successes, and not beat away at their spirits for any mistakes or mishap.
In these challenging economic times some parents are forced to work two sometimes three jobs to provide for their families and can be challenging to keep track of what your child/ren is doing and how he/she is doing in school. You must re-assess this and ask yourself is it working. Are you spending the quality time with your child/ren asking the right questions about his/her future and what they want?
Giving them the outlet with arts is the perfect way they will get to challenge themselves, feel good about something within them, have some sense of accomplishment, pride in there work... and this in-turn will give them the power to overcome, with-stand any kind of negative peer pressure.
The key is to give the kids of today, who are the future of tomorrow structure, foundation, a reason for being and a sense of belonging, to someone, something.
The Arts are a gift that should not be taken for granted these abilities are a magnificent form of self-expression.
Let us take on the task to spread the word. We have power in numbers the more we show interest in our community and our kids... they will have no alternative but to review what is happening with the funding, government grants to help support the arts in the public school system.
Our government is slowly but surely pulling a blanket over our eyes. Even some of the principals in the schools are aiding them! They setup programs in the school systems with one thing in mind (Program Failure).
It's a shame but we have been in meetings with the so-called powers that be in many schools only to be disappointed by their lack of enthusiasm in getting the dance programs off the ground. Without the proper support in these schools it is a dead end. As long as they are collecting the government money to run these programs they can care less who or how many students show up.
How do we stop things like this from happening? Simply get involved. Understand this is not going to get better unless, we take matters into our own hands. Show our government that we will no longer sit by and take all that they say without questioning the cause and effect it will have on our community.
Even take it a step further if your child ask you to sign him or her up for any after school programs, please take sometime to mention to your child, or children it is a privilege to be able to take part in any of the arts programs and take the time to go to the school and introduce yourself to the teacher involved in teaching your child art, dance or music just as you would with the academic teachers.
I ask you now to help save the arts in our community!!!
If it were not for the PAL Center in the South Bronx we would have never met our dance teacher Re-Run, who then formed our dance crew 'Unique Force'.
At this time I would like to thank my teachers from St. Anthanasius who taught dances from their country that I remember till this day because of the impact it had on my life in the third grade:
Ms. O'Neal who taught me the Jig from her native country of Ireland.
Ms. Aquino who taught me her native dances from the Philippines.
And the countless other teachers that always let us express ourselves with art, music, dance and sports.