The Fairy Princess has been watching these Presidential Debates like

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She has also been directing a show, teaching a class, and getting ready to appear in a show at Feinstein’s/54 Below THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT at 11:30 PM called MUSE MATCH – where they take a composer, match them with a singer and have a night of original songs. TFP is working with Andrew David Sotomayer, who has written a great, thoughtful number, and all the proceeds are to go to a charity that deals with the gun violence.

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She will fully admit that the ONLY way she is getting through to Election Day is watching Randy Rainbow videos and hugging small children.

Amazing.

Can he get a medal for these? He should totally get a medal for these for cultural contribution at times of extreme stress.

Speaking of the Arts in terms of extreme stress – how about asking kids and their parents to pay for being in a school play?

Yes. Harford County, once again, has reiterated that to participate in school plays, the Parents must pay a fee of $100 in order to do so. To play sports, the students/Parents must also pay $100.

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In fact, the school board hopes that they can get 500 kids to participate in their plays so that they can then pay for the Swim Team!

Now, just paying the fee does not guarantee a role, nor does it guarantee that any coach will play the child on the team or in the pool. Nor should any parent pay ahead of time, because on the off chance you paid, should your child not be ‘chosen’, you will not get a refund.

What does it guarantee?

Nothing except that the school in some small way makes up for it’s incompetent administration of the school budget which is collected from tax payers – and which ‘used to’ be enough, but is no longer enough to fund extra-curricular activities.

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Again – this is the Arts and Physical Activity we are talking about. This concerns the health, happiness, and well being of the children who are forced to attend in this County because this is where they live.

Now, picture yourself either a single parent, or a family on a strict budget. You would like your child to participate in an after school activity, in part, because it would give them something to do after school, and keep them in an academic adjacent setting.

In other words, they would be safe after school.

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Parents no longer all get an option of running to meet the bus the minute it stops and ushering the kids home to cookies and milk. Most Parents have to work. Most school districts realize that, and after school activities are, in part, to develop life-long habits based on physical activity and the Arts, but ultimately to keep kids actively engaged in a positive way.

Because kids without focus can get into trouble – and that is not just stats and studies, that is personal observation from where TFP grew up – which was a very nice Upper Middle Class suburb in New York.

 Any ‘kid’ who is bored, who is unsupervised even peripherally by an adult, is likely to get into harmful situations.

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(Photo Credit – Howard Sherman)

The kids who do not have an activity after school that is supervised by an adult, have more than enough time to learn how to be rude, be aggressive to one another and to any adults that happen in their way, and frankly – they do not learn to contribute to anything. They learn how to be selfish, because they only have themselves to consider.

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When you are in a play, or on a team – and TFP has been participants in both kinds of activities – you learn how to work with others. You learn how to think both as an individual, and to how to contribute to the end result as a whole.

Plays and Musicals are generally not dependent upon one individual, it takes a village – building sets, costumes, setting lights, learning lines, learning staging – none of that happens in a vacuum.

Sports is similar – you can be an outstanding individual player – but that may be in only one position – you cannot play every spot at every time.

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One develops not only your ‘outside’ interests in these activities, but they contribute to mental happiness and happier students perform better in schools.

Penalizing the kids because the Adults that are ‘in charge’ are not able to handle the job that they accepted to do, is the wrong attitude.

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Now the School Board will start yelling about Unions and Insurance and Overtime and Electric Bills, New Uniforms…all valid points.

All valid points – but a more valid point is – what is the end goal?

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Education.

Education is the end goal.

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Engaged kids perform better – test scores go up. Do not all High Schools and Middle Schools have to maintain a test score standard upon which Federal Funds are granted to them? So if you take away activities that foster individual achievement and goals, which lead to better test scores, aren’t you sinking the academic ship here as well as the after school activities?

Obviously the School Board in this case did not participate on teams or in plays to understand what is actually at stake here – what is at stake are human beings.

Human beings whose minds and bodies could remain closed simply because their Parents have financial strictures in place that cannot accommodate an extra few hundred dollars.

To attempt to make money for the district on the backs of the Artsy kids so that you can pay for the Swim Team to keep the pool open, seems ludicrous.

It seems small minded and honestly – perhaps the School Board should stop penalizing the children who want to participate and their parents – stop looking at them as a ticket to fix budget shortfall and instead get a competent accountant in there to figure out this mess they have gotten themselves into.

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For choosing to try and make money on the backs of kids, instead of giving those same backs wings so that they can fly into their future – TFP fines the Harford County School Board in Maryland $100 and 100 whacks with the wand – that $100 is their ‘participation fee’ for being idiots.

If you cannot administrate – get someone in there who can and fix this issue.

Your job is not to be the keepers of access to education – it is to PROVIDE education that the tax payers have already paid and voted on.

Do your jobs!

TFP encourages people in the Arts and in Sports and Human Beings in general to go to website of the Harford County School Board and write to the School Board.

Particularly if you are a voter in Harford County, MD.

(Which is looking way less fun than Harper Valley, PTA right now!)

TFP out.

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