31 March 2023

Kindergarten play cancelled because...

 "In April 2014, the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, sent a letter to the parents of its kindergartners, confirming rumors that the school would not be going ahead with its annual play.
Dear Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,

We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the twenty-first century are changing schools.

The reason for eliminating the kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and careers with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers, and problem solvers. Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.
These kids, the letter implied, could not spare two days from their regularly scheduled work..."
The essay continues at Harper's.


  1. I remember when one of my high school English teachers read Robert Fulghum's "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" to the class as a clever statement on the importance of, among other things, simply playing. It was an extremely popular essay and collected in a book that, for a while, seemed to be on a shelf in every house I went to.
    A few years later a parody, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Star Trek went around. Except it wasn't entirely a parody. It included the line "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Spoken by Captain Kirk the same line could have fit in Fulghum's original piece.
    It wouldn't hurt the administrators at Harley Avenue Primary School to read both essays.

  2. At first glance, I was thinking "play" was cancelled and that didn't surprise me. And then I'm thinking how sad it is that something like that would not be a surprise. Instead, my mind rolls through all the possible reasons play might be cancelled. And none of the reasons are anything but examples of insanity on parade, and yet, I can easily see them being first suggested and then taken seriously! On his death bed, my father watched The Sound of Music multiple times. I'll probably be watching Idiocracy.

  3. Staging a play is quite educational. It teaches cooperation, competition, logistics, memorization, stage direction, and probably music. It promotes confidence, imagination, an appreciation for art, and joy. It can also be a lesson in dealing with fright and failure. Those are experiences that lead to a well-rounded education, and are particularly important in kindergarten age kids.