Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Huckabee on the Arts & Education

You all know how I feel about arts education since I have always been extremely involved in that aspect of education. I also see how it helps develop preschoolers self-esteem and confidence and how it helps implement them to remember simple concepts without truly being aware of how much knowledge they are gaining from just a simple excercise or movement activity. Just another reason why I love Mike.....

If my parents had not purchased me a guitar when I was a child, I doubt I would be running for President as an adult.

When I was a kid, I was as insecure as the next boy or girl. I wanted to be loved and accepted by my friends just like every other kid. However, once I started playing the guitar, my natural insecurity was replaced with a sense of self-confidence. I could stand up before my friends and perform knowing full well that I had some modicum of talent that was appreciated in kind.

Before long, this confidence spread to public speaking. And then, well, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story. I believe that children need to be prodded out of their natural shells of insecurity. Children need to have something in which to excel. A child who is not encouraged to develop his or her God-given talents will sit idly by while the rest of the world goes about its business.

Along these lines, if a child is never given the opportunity to discover his or her talents--because his or her school lacks a music program or a drama program or even an athletic program--then we will have failed that child. Obviously, teaching academics is the most important business of our schools.

However, learning is more than just reciting facts or punching numbers. Learning is about life. Its about confidently standing up and saying, "Folks, this is who I am--you can take me or leave me!" It's about being able to manage the dual burdens of criticism and applause. It's about taking risks, and learning how to leave everything on the table. The entrepreneurs of tomorrow will take their first risks in music class or in drama class or in gym class.

For this reason, we must encourage the arts and athletics in our public schools; otherwise, we may leave untapped a vast well of potential leadership.Click here to see a picture someone found of me as a teenager pretending to be Elvis Presley. It's certainly not a flattering picture. Still, it illustrates an important point that I discussed above.

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