Whenever I’m disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about Little Jamie Scott. Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His Mother told me that he’d set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.
On the day the parts were awarded I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement, ‘Guess what, Mom’, he shouted and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me….. ‘ I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer. ‘
I don’t know what the original source of this quote is. It appears in a dozen or so books and on hundreds of web pages. It’s probably not even a true story. Reality is seldomly this pithy.
But I think it’s a great testament to the power of the arts in education. We hear time and time again about students like Jamie Scott who find meaning and purpose in the school through participation in the arts. We hear time and time again about at-risk students who only show up at school so they can participate in the school play.
When will boards and administrations listen? When will the arts in schools be properly funded?
Some day? Never?