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Elwood school cancels kindergarten show so kids can study

Should school performances be canceled so kindergartners can

Should school performances be canceled so kindergartners can prepare for college? (Credit: iStock)

I can still remember practicing for school performances. I was the lead angel in the first grade Christmas pageant, I sang my heart out at our year-end show and, in eighth grade, I played Edith Frank in "The Diary of Anne Frank."

I also remember how proud my parents were watching from the audience. Now, as a mother with two young children, I wonder if I will share these special moments with them, as I watch all the changes happening in schools.

To my point, a kindergarten show in Elwood was recently canceled so kids can study and prepare for college. According to a Newsday article, a letter from interim principal Ellen Best-Laimit was sent to parents on April 10, explaining that the show would be replaced with a game day.

The letter, signed by Best-Laimit and four kindergarten teachers, said: "The reason for eliminating the kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, co-workers, and problem solvers."

Wow. Really? School performances are almost a rite of passage for little ones. They provide a break from schoolwork while teaching and helping children to grow in other ways. When my 3-year-old daughter started preschool this year, she cried every day during the first few weeks. By December, my timid daughter had blossomed into a little girl who loved school and took part in her class' holiday performance. She was so happy we were there, and I was proud to see how far she had come.

I understand kindergarten -- and even preschool -- has become more academic over the years, but I think it's ridiculous to cancel a performance to allow kids more time to study. I'm all for getting children excited about college and the future, but I think starting so young is just too much. Can't we just let kids be kids?

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