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Letters: Dismayed by loss of kindergarten play

As a retired elementary school principal in West Islip and former education administrator at Dowling College, I was saddened and troubled by the Elwood school district's decision to cancel a traditional kindergarten play ["Elwood officials say no to kindergarten show," News, April 29].

Our goal for kindergarten should be to provide a happy, safe, creative and educational atmosphere that fosters a lifelong love of all learning.

I don't know whether Lane Filler was being sarcastic or attempting humor with his column on this topic ["Showdown over kindergarten show," Opinion, April 30]. Our parents didn't feel obligated to speed to school and watch their children "mumble about half the words to a series of songs about ducks, lambs and irresponsible livestock workers." Not funny!

One of my sincere pleasures was seeing these smiling kindergarten faces every day and watching the joy and pride experienced by their loved ones as they visited for the little ones' performances.

Whenever I was stressed during the school day, I would visit the kindergarten classes, and the world was right again.

Larry Kazemier, Bohemia

I read with dismay that Elwood schools decided to cancel a traditional kindergarten show because of the loss of academic time due to snow days.

Education has really gone astray if school officials have to decide between an annual, traditional day of exciting, artful expression or just another day of extreme academics for 5- and 6-year-old children.

In my career as an elementary music teacher in the Patchogue-Medford district, I witnessed 33 years of a firecracker kindergarten teacher the kids called "Mrs. Z" whipping up those shows for four classes. It was always a spectacular event and turned out to be a culmination of a whole year of work for the students. They always felt so special performing for their parents and other classes on that day.

We are losing the arts to the Common Core. There needs to be a balance. We are supposed to be educating the whole child.

I hope that Elwood school officials will reconsider.

Susan Berner, Patchogue

As a retired elementary school teacher with more than 30 years of experience in New York City schools, I disagree with Lane Filler's column. He felt it was his lucky day when his daughter's kindergarten performance was suddenly canceled? I'm sure his daughter didn't feel that way.

School productions teach necessary skills, such as working together in a group, public speaking, music appreciation and a sense of accomplishment when the performance comes to fruition.

Many of today's education policy-makers are too caught up in the Common Core, where reading and math are emphasized. Visual arts, music, dance and physical education seem to be becoming a thing of the past. School productions now join the list.

Ellen Kramer, Merrick

Kerry seems to side with Palestine

Secretary of State John Kerry has shown his true anti-Israel beliefs, and once again the item has been printed deep inside the newspaper rather than on Page 1 where it belongs ["Kerry criticized over 'apartheid' remark," News, April 29].

He said Israel could become an apartheid state because, according to him, Israel refuses to reach a peace deal to create a separate Palestinian state. Although the papers are singing hosannas over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas admitting that the Holocaust took place, Newsday and other media are ignoring the second part of his statement: that he will never accept a Jewish state.

Does Kerry agree with Abbas that Israel must cease to exist?

Judith Durah, Spring Creek

Nassau's buying up 'eyesores'?

With regard to the financially ill-advised, politically unsavory and now-delayed purchase of his friend's property in Bethpage by County Executive Edward Mangano, Deputy County Executive Ed Ward is quoted as saying, "We're buying an eyesore the community wants us to do something about" ["Delay in land sale sought," News, April 25].

There are a number of dilapidated, eyesore properties in Seaford that our community would like the county to purchase next. Where do we sign on?

Peter J. Ruffner, Seaford

Airport's woes found in prices

I agree with the letter saying why Long Island MacArthur Airport's business is declining ["Free advice for MacArthur Airport," April 30].

I would like to add one more item to the writer's list: The prices are to high. I recently tried to book a round trip for my wife and me to Chicago on Southwest, the only major airline at MacArthur Airport. Instead, we will be flying out of LaGuardia Airport and will save more than $550. On top of that, they're non-stop flights both ways.

Wayne Mortak, West Babylon