California Educator

September 2013

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It feels like I went back in time. People were more proper and formal. Dancing helped me to understand what it meant to be Romeo or Juliet. Monte Vista High School student Becky Paholski During that time people walked differently. They listened to waltz music. There was lots of bowing. When Romeo and Juliet met at the dance, they were spellbound, but also formal, stiff and reserved. I learned all that from dancing. Classes in the arts are losing many students. Students who are 'below basic' lose their electives and get put in intervention classes. But if you take away art, music and drama, what incentive do kids have to succeed in school? The arts provide a reason for kids to stay out of trouble. The arts level the playing field. In arts classes, you'll find high-achieving kids and so-called troublemakers working together and getting along. They have to, just like in the real world. My son was never the best student in the world, but his saving grace was music. I credit his band director with helping him to graduate from high school. TONY REYNA, band director at Sussman Middle School Downey Education Association Monte Vista High School student Stephanie Walker 3 The arts level the playing field and Create harmony Playing the flute teaches me a lot about my personality. I have learned to trust myself. I have confidence in myself. When I play, I feel like I'm in a different world. Sussman Middle School student Fany Lima SEP TEMBER 201 3 Educator 09 Sep 2013 v3.6 int.indd 11 11 9/3/13 2:25 PM

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