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Whole-child strategy

Educational ideologies ebb and flow due to the demands of the world, whether it’s literacy, math, science or technology. I propose the educational philosophy of “Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child.” If we include this in our standards of education, students will become well-balanced creative thinkers confident to make academic advancements, who are sensitive to their surroundings and passionate to withstand controversy.

Success begins with feeling safe in their environment and secure within themselves. All students should have up-to-date facilities and educators, communities that encourage young innovation. Attainable mental health resources and financial stability for families are critical to this philosophy. Students cannot learn when hungry, cold, worried or neglected. Embracing the whole child will establish the integrity of the person. Supported students are more apt to choose education and creative thinking, preparing them for 21st century challenges.

From the vantage point of an art educator, I focus on the student’s creative process. Students K through fourth grade make choices about the meaning of their art and how it is created. It’s my responsibility to give them the foundation and encourage them to look at the world and ourselves from different viewpoints.

I believe this process will encourage confidence, perseverance through challenges, and dedication to discover original ideas.


Cave Springs

He has a difficult job

I will usually start reading Philip Martin’s columns, but of late, I would stop about one third of the way through. Most of his columns are too personal or mundane for me. I feel for Philip, who has the difficult job of coming up with four or so columns each week, and then the task of making them interesting and illuminating. Tuesday his piece on John Candy hit the ball out of the park! Great job.


Little Rock

Restoring democracy

It is heartening to see that the people of Arkansas turned up to the polls in one of the most unprecedented elections in our shared history. The historically low levels of participation in elections is both ironic and saddening, compromising the United States’ self-proclaimed image of being an icon of true democracy. Perhaps most saddening is the absence of representative participation from young people.

Our society suffers from a lack of generational continuance. From generation to generation, young people become less engaged in politics, as older voters (above 60) disproportionately represent the people. This reality has massively amplified the political stagnation that already exists. This year, however, the young people of the United States arrived with great force and power. According to a Harvard Youth Poll, 63 percent of Americans age 18-29 said they would “definitely be voting” in the election. The results have been historic.

I am 18 years old, and I voted for the first time this year. As a young person in America, I believe it is now more urgent than ever to engage my generation—and the next—in guarding the gates of our election process. This month we showed up. If we continue this trend, there is a hope for the ultimate restoration of democracy.


West Fork

Thought experiment

I often hear my fellow progressives bemoan how anyone could possibly vote for such a terrible person as Donald Trump. In reply, I have to say I understand it. It makes sense.

There is a small group of hardcore Trump supporters who like him and will support him no matter what. But that does not describe most of the people who voted for him.

I suggest a thought experiment: Imagine that Trump kept his personality but was a liberal, and Biden kept his personality but was a conservative. (I know it’s a stretch!) Who would you vote for—the bad guy with good policies or the good guy with bad policies? I’d go for the bad guy with good policies, and that is what many conservatives did. They sincerely believe that conservative policies are good for the country, and so they held their noses and voted for Trump. In my thought experiment, I would have too.

I don’t agree that conservatism is good for the country, but many good, smart people believe otherwise, and I respect their opinion. I’m glad that a majority of the voters agreed with me, but I won’t badmouth the ones who voted for what they believe is good for America.

Democracy accommodates opposing opinions; in fact, it benefits from them. Now we have to figure out how to work together through some hard times. We can do it.



Poor civics education

The recent election process has made it clear that too many people have no idea how our government was actually founded or how it works. I would like to see a report on the state of civics education in Arkansas.


North Little Rock

A day to be thankful

As Thanksgiving arrives, I am reminded of our family tradition of sharing the things for which we are most thankful. Due to the pandemic, instead of gathering in a circle holding hands, our family will be sharing our “most thankful things” via Zoom.

In thinking about what I am most thankful for, without hesitation I have concluded that I am most thankful for Joe Biden and the voters of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, who handily pushed him over the threshold of victory. America has spoken, overwhelmingly choosing a return to normalcy over Oval Office insanity.

Biden’s leadership will steer us toward science and sensibility in dealing with the pandemic. Say a prayer for Joe.

May you all have a blessed, safe and healthy Thanksgiving.




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