Rant & rave? Well no. The rant has been done, and I agree with much of it, but I am not going to rave either. I will just tell my blog a little about a success story. My daughter attended pre-K and Kindergarten at Hines and Franklin. The applications came out for the first classes to be held under the banner of Roosevelt Magnet School. The application was quickly filled out and returned. Leah was lucky. She was one of 47 "minority" students selected from outside the Roosevelt attendance area. She started first grade there the first year that the magnet program opened. They put a violin in that little first graders hands and the rest is history. She had always enjoyed her dance classes, but making music entered her soul - band (clarinet), orchestra and string ensemble (viola), jazz band (keyboard) and Treble Choir. She sang a solo for 8th grade graduation. Right after graduation, the Treble Choir went on a European tour! We got donations and I borrowed money, but music took her to Europe!!!
High school started and off to Woodruff she went. Again, band, orchestra, chorus and Jazz All-Stars. A trip to New Orleans for a band performance, a trip to the White House for a choral performance, strutted her stuff in plays and speech team and a second trip to Europe with the Jazz All-Stars. Heck, I have been as far as Windsor, Ontario Canada when it comes to being outside the U.S.A.
Off to Roosevelt University (Chicago College of Music) after high school. Darned if the orchestra didn't get the chance to go to Japan to perform! Graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree. She stayed in Chicago for another year before finding the teacher she wanted to study with. Only thing was, she had to pack up and move to Santa Barbara, CA to do it!! So she did. She worked for a year in order to establish residency, then started at Univ. of CA, Santa Barbara. Leah completed her Master of Music, Viola performance there. She stayed in California and worked at the university for a year until she decided to move to Detroit (for matters of the heart).
She is still doing music!
Moral of the story - my version. Every child has a gift. It is the responsibility of the parent (most of this time, I was a single parent) and the education system to find and nurture that gift. Whether it is music or math, engineering or plumbing, art or ditch digging, it is important to encourage, support and nurture "the Gift". I spent a lot of time being part of an audience and many District #150 educators and administrators encouraged and supported her efforts. It has not been that long since she graduated from District #150, many, if not most, of the problems that exist today were there then. Was it easy? No! Can it be done? Yes! It is up to the parent(s) to do their part - too many don't.