These kids all above average |

These kids all above average

Bill Kight

This past week has given me hope in the young people of our community.

It started when I went to the Glenwood Springs High School Drama Department’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” A credit to Ms. Rowe-Gaddis, drama teacher, coach, mentor.

For someone who doesn’t care much for musicals, I got more than my money’s worth of entertainment. Those kids could hold their own with any professional group of actors with the talent they displayed the night I attended.

It was an uplifting experience as well as a fun time. I needed both.

Education must involve teaching basic skills in order for students to survive in today’s high-tech world. Certainly such skill levels can and should be tested.

But how can you test for inspiration? And what inspires hearts and minds more than art and music?

There is no way of knowing how many kids stay in school because of some art or music teacher’s caring mentorship.

The strength of a good school drama, art and music program is an asset to any community.

The annual spring Middle School concert is a must for any parent whose kid is learning to play in the band. It’s the “must” part that many parents can’t seem to get beyond.

Sometimes we are so exhausted that going to another school function is about as much fun as getting your driver’s license renewed.

This year’s concert was an inspiration to me. The progress made by all three middle school grades was amazing. Director Rob Merritt’s pride toward his students during the awards portion of the program is telling.

What it tells to me is the caliber of teacher it takes to bring students to the level of performance witnessed this year.

“The Lord of the Rings” theme song played by the 8th-grade band was definitely high school material and deserving of the standing ovation.

There was one other event that I witnessed of our young people in action that made me proud.

A few days ago I noticed a bunch of kids planting trees along the east side of the bypass and south of the Community Center. My daughter’s red sweatshirt caught my eye.

“Must be her River Watch class,” I thought. Leftover trees from the big weekend volunteer tree planting?

Those of you who have kids in school know the following routine around the dinner table at night.

“What did you do at school today, Shandra?”

“Nothing much, just stuff.” The usual reply.

“Wasn’t that you I saw today planting trees near the Community Center?”


She was playing the “parent asking their kid about school game” well. Say as little as possible. But this time I didn’t have to pry anything out of her.

Animated hands, smiling face and dancing eyes told how much fun she had. Looking through the roll of film she took made me smile.

It turned out to be Mr. Denney’s “FAD” (Fundamentals of American Democracy) class at work.

Democracy indeed. Part of a great week that planted hope in my heart.

Glenwood resident Bill Kight’s column runs every other Sunday.

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