Letters to the Editor 12/20

December 19, 2000

Letters to the Editor 12/20

Don't ignore art in schools

To the editor:

It is shocking to learn that the West Virginia School Building Authority (SBA) plans to eliminate the art and music rooms from the plans for the proposed Jefferson ninth grade complex. This is unacceptable. Our county's citizens have a long and distinguished record of support for the arts in our schools. This includes, music, dance, theater and the visual arts programs.

We should be taking steps to see that our schools contain classrooms specifically for arts education, visual arts, music, theater and dance. Teachers and students expect a classroom that contains the necessary equipment and supplies that support vocal music, visual arts, dance and theater.

National and state leaders in education recognize the arts as basic curricula subjects. In fact, the West Virginia Legislature has mandated that the arts are part of the core state education curriculum. The arts have curriculum objectives in and of themselves, and encourage comprehensive, integrated intellectual development.


The arts enhance other parts of the learning experience. Student achievement and test scores in other academic subjects can improve when teachers use the arts to assist learning in mathematics, social studies, creative writing and communication skills. The arts develop creative thinking. Arts education is important to critical thinking and develops skills in problem solving, in cooperation and self-discipline. They are especially crucial in an era that requires understanding of non-linear, abstract subjects in order to be able to use electronic media.

The arts preserve our cultural heritage and teach us about our collective pasts. They help to balance and healthily express the emotions and coordinate the body, as well as to develop in intellect. West Virginia is known for its craftsmanship and traditions of music, dance, theater and literature. The arts are essential for a well-educated society.

This letter to your publication expresses the collective concern of the members of the executive committee of the Arts and Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County.

Peg McNaughton, President, AHA

Charles Town, W.Va.

Remember the Rochester House

To the editor:

There was a time when there was a generation that appreciated our early Hagerstown landmarks. Most people know about the Hager House because it is still there. The story of that structure can be passed along as long as it stands. We are fortunate to have such a building that represents our early Hagerstown.

What would have been the fate of that majestic dwelling if it had been somewhere in the inner city today? If it was left to some of the power play of some of the governing body of Hagerstown, then it may have been considered for a parking lot.

There once stood on the corner of West Washington and South Prospect streets, a building that was often referred to as the Rochester House. It was built in the 1700s.

That building could have been awarded the same prominence as the Hager House. That house was also known as "Mount Prospect." If it were still standing today, it could possibly be a household word. I'm sure it would have drawn more attention than the parking lot for which it was torn down for in 1956.

Arthur P. Keifer


A great supper

To the editor:

Thursday, Dec. 7, it was our pleasure and fortune to have shared the Candle-lite Supper at Colton Villa Nursing Home with the residents there.

To the whole staff, thank you. It was a memorable occasion because of your input and efforts. The food was good, service good and atmosphere admirable.

Keep up your Galatians 6:7.

Thanks again.

Glenn Camery


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