The day before school started this year, Rim Country Middle School teachers, students and parents learned that seventh- and eighth-grade band and choir classes were at risk of being canceled due to a lack of student participation. This caused a flurry of concern, especially among parents and school board members who know how important such programs are.
Today, just a few short months later, more than one-third of all students at RCMS are involved in music classes and the program is alive and well. This is a success worth recognizing and celebrating.
Mike Buskirk, one of the music instructors at RCMS, credits part of the turnaround to the ever increasing quality of the music program. "Kids want to be a part of something successful." Buskirk said. "Students are actively recruiting their friends to join them in their music classes."
The Roundup would like to commend music instructors Karen Goss, Ron Sadlier and Buskirk for their work with the children of Payson. But most of all, we'd like to thank the 270 music students at RCMS for being involved in something that does so much good.
Band and music classes do more than just help students make friends and strengthen their talents. Countless studies irrefutably show us that music students get better grades across the board in academic and elective courses.
We know that there are administrators and school board members who do work hard to support our band, choir and string classes throughout the district. But sometimes these programs are pushed aside and end up playing second fiddle to other programs.
We hope that everyone involved with our youth will stand up for the music in the future. One way to show your support is a Credit for Kids donation. The State of Arizona will let you allocate up to $200 of your state taxes directly to local extracurricular school programs. This is a tax credit so it doesn't cost you a dime and the benefits will be felt by all of us right here in the Rim country. The deadline to participate is Dec. 31, 2000.
Watch for the Credit for Kids sign-up form in Sunday's Rim Review delivered to your home, or in Friday issues of the Roundup. You can also receive a form by calling Roy Sandoval at 474-5882 or in Pine, call Mary Jo Licavoli at 476-3283.