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The value of a different kind of lesson



The local PTA is looking for support to continue filling in an important gap in the curricula offered by local school districts.

Each year the group funds or sponsors a variety of worthwhile events, the latest being the science fair at Lake Roosevelt Schools.

Next up, it will bring the Missoula Children’s Theater to town so local students can get a taste of a subject not offered here — drama.

In a world focused on what is viewed as practical — science, math, engineering — it’s important to remember that those critical disciplines focus on making life easier, or even possible, in the case of some life-saving technologies, but they don’t focus on making it worth living in the first place. That’s where the humanities come in.

Experiences in language, visual arts, drama and music help us understand our world, and gives an entirely different and healthy pathway to encourage growth in young minds.

That’s why the Grand Coulee Dam PTA spends about $3,000 each year to bring in MCT, a company that produces a play in a week, giving lots of kids a chance to spread their wings in a new way.

“Participating in an MCT residency teaches our kids more than just theatre,” writes PTA President Kim Stout in an appeal to local businesses. “In each MCT cast, girls and boys are equal, the disabled become able, and the shy experiment with bravery and the gifted become part of the whole. The lesson they learn is that all of them are necessary for the show to go on.”

Now that’s a lesson it would be a shame not to teach.

This special enterprise will produce a production of “Treasure Island” on April 29 at the Village Cinema. But the real treasure will be found in the minds of those young people it inspires during the week of preparation and commitment.

Scott Hunter

editor and publisher

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