LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Renewing levy supports core curriculum

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I appreciate all the letters supporting the vote to renew the tax levy for education and I would like to express my opinion that this levy supports programs that should be viewed as essential and integral to the success of core educational programs. Sports and music should not be viewed as extras or privileges.

Our children deserve the same advantages other children receive daily all over our nation - for very good reasons.

Last year the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, Dr. John Medina, gave several talks here in Walla Walla. At these talks and in his best-selling book ("Brain Rules for Baby") Medina points out brain research that comes to two important conclusions related to our local levy.

First, exercise is extremely important for the brain at every age and invigorates brain function by as much as 100 percent. Other specialists in pediatric psychology ("The Way of Boys" by Dr. Anthony Rao, for example) note the extreme importance of periodic exercise for helping children focus during in-class lessons.

When we fund physical education, we give children of the Walla Walla Valley help in learning all core subjects.

Secondly, early exposure to music can help with learning second or third languages later in life, a huge advantage in a global economy.

Perhaps more important, research shows that children who participate in music are more able as adults to detect and interpret emotion in others, skills vitally important to friendships later in life.

My final reason for supporting the levy? In addition to helping all children in our community learn, my child tells me the school week is a lot more fun because of PE and music.

Let's make school a place where children want to spend time learning!

Kirsten Nicolaysen

Walla Walla

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