Fully-grown flowers are more than just stems

by Caroline Batson, CDSS Promotion and Periodicals Director

photo by Barbara Dyskant; courtesy CDSS Archives

A recent opinion piece in the Miami Herald by Luis Martinez-Fernández, talks about the importance of a well-rounded education that includes not only STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but also HAS (humanities, arts and social sciences).* As dancers, singers, musicians, teachers and organizers of the traditional arts, we agree with the well-rounded approach. We know what these arts mean to us and have meant during our lives. Other than a brief Phys. Ed. session of square dancing in primary school, many of us didn’t embrace these participatory arts until adulthood. What additional richness if we’d contra or English country danced, or sang and played music, from a younger age!

There are many subjects that must be included in school curricula today, all of them important, but because it seems the arts are being left behind, the Country Dance and Song Society is planning a new education  project—online courses in traditional dance and music for public school teachers. Our goal is to give teachers the basic skills to easily incorporate these traditional arts into the contemporary classroom.

We will be participating in a regional fundraising event on 12.12.12 called Valley Gives Day, an e-philanthropy day to raise the profile of over 200 Western Massachusetts nonprofits. We have chosen to dedicate funds raised on that day to jumpstart our new project. You can help by donating on 12.12.12 or by scheduling a donation now.

“…we need poets, painters, musicians, ballet dancers and clergy to nurture the spirit of those who now lead longer and healthier lives,” Martinez-Fernández writes. “[A] STEM without flowers is just a bare stem.”

Let’s help grow those flowers! Please support our new project by contributing through Valley Gives.


* To read the full article, “STEM Promotes Science Instruction at the Expense of Humanities,” go to the ArtsBlog, http://blog.artsusa.org/2012/11/30/stem-promotes-science-instruction-at-the-expense-of-humanities/.