After School Special

By Juan Castillo After the last bell rings at school, most kids board the bus or get picked up by their parents and resume their life at home till the next school day. What about the kids that have to wait at school due to parents’ work schedules? What do they partake in? Who do they partake in any activities with? Why not start an after school music program that teaches students to learn, read and play music? To learn to read and play an instrument requires practice and focus, a factor that can maybe help students with school work but most importantly, staying out of trouble. As a kid, you’re easily influenced by the things going on around you.   I spoke to one teacher, Virginia Mendoza, who works at JBJ Muller Elementary school who says that “A program like that would be really great…especially to kids who have a rough life at home or that go home with nothing to do.”   She also mentions that “the discipline of learning to play or read music can help a student that is struggling with focus on their academic subjects.”   I asked the same question to another teacher, who wished not be named, who works for an elementary school in Laredo Independent School District.   “That is a great idea but it requires a lot of funding which is something that is hard to get,” she said. She also expressed concern for the social issues that could possibly arise from this type of program   “The kids that picked on that want to participate in these programs will be even more likely to get picked on” and “it may cause them to not even participate.” She also added that “any programs after school will help students in many different ways.”   Whether these programs can help children or create easier targets for bullies, the real question from parents and teachers is “what do we want our students/children to be part of?” Most, if not all of us, hope they take part in something that benefits them presently and towards the future.
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