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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
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It’s My Opinion: Taking Action


            Hollywood Central Elementary is one of the many Florida schools that has had to cut programs and “extras” because of budgetary concerns. The arts department was one of the first programs to be discontinued.  Unfortunately, this type of situation is much too typical in these times.  Today’s economy is responsible for reductions in many schools and institutions.

 

Enrichment activities are extremely important to a young person.  Music, art and physical education are important components of a well-rounded education.  They foster creativity, imagination and problem-solving ability.  They are, in fact, essential.

 

The problem in the school was not unique.  The solution, however, was a breath of fresh air in a society that has accustomed itself to being “bailed out.”

 

The parents of the children did not wail and moan and complain.  Instead, they organized, not for the purpose of demonstrations and protests, but to solve the dilemma in a hands-on way.  One parent took a course in art appreciation geared toward volunteers in elementary grades.  She then trained others.

 

The students learned about art.  They painted.  They made collages.  They created patchwork pillows.  They built.  They exhibited their work in a local art museum.   The project was a huge success.

 

Jewish tradition encourages prayers but it also encourages action.  Counting on a miracle is actually discouraged.  The sea parted only when Nachshon literally jumped in. 

 

Kol HaKavod to this group of gutsy parents.  Your actions are certainly a proactive role model for all.

About the Author: Shelley Benveniste is South Florida editor of The Jewish Press.


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