While the pandemic has robbed precious time for learning from our youth, consequently, there are also ongoing controversies regarding school funding have impacted education negatively. In spite of these difficult challenges, I had a glimmer of hope while visiting the AGREE Summer Art Workshop at the East Valley High School in Mesa. AZ Golden Rule Educator Kendra Ruth Martinez welcomed me on campus with her beautiful smile and infectious enthusiasm. It was quite delightful to be around bubbling kids with their happy families and friends awaiting the stage performance of the play “Drop it, or Get Up and Go”.
Before the show, Kendra Ruth introduced four child actors who spoke about their understanding of the “golden” qualities of kindness, civility, respect, and empathy. That’s the Golden Rule – “treat others the way you want to be treated”. The workshop was directed by renowned Arizona youth directors Julie Clement and Marcus Ellsworth, and participants not only gained experience in theater, music, dance, and film, but were also taught those “golden” character qualities. These character qualities were apparent in the way the youth treated each other, and are needed characteristics in our classrooms.
When school budgets are cut, music and the arts are frequently targeted. As an educator and life-long learner myself, I know that music and the arts facilitate learning in critical thinking, communication and even numeracy. (Precise counting is a big part of training for good rhythm.) AGREE is able to provide precious educational arts experiences for our youth, free of charge! In fact this summer arts workshop and performance was fully funded by the Arizona Golden Rule specialty license plate.
Thank you Arizona for your help in funding AGREE programs. You’re making a long-term investment in building up our young learners. With the Golden Rule license plate you also serve as a roving billboard in encouraging kindness and respect.
We thank you Kendra Ruth and directors for your dedication, talent and mighty efforts!
Please share this email with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers and visit the AGREE – Arizona Golden Rule Educational Experiences website learn more about what AGREE offers Schools – www.AZGoldenRule.org .
Albert Celoza, Ph.D., Executive Director
P.S. A “Live the Golden Rule” license plate! A beautiful reminder for kindness and civility, and is available at www.servicearizona.com