By Tiana - James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

No matter how you feel about the Common Core, Kindergarten should not be all work and no play. I was simply stunned when I read that the annual Kindergarten play at a school in Elwood, N.Y., had been cancelled so the teachers could spend more time "preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills."

What will the children really learn from this experience? And what kind of message does this letter from school's interim principal and four Kindergarten teachers send to parents about how anxious they should be during the many years ahead?

Certainly, quality early education is the foundation for success in school and life. However, these educators have taken this mantra too far. At my daughter's school, the students spend years looking forward to their opportunity to be in the annual fourth grade play, and the performance is always an event to be remembered.

Personally, I believe that being involved in theatre teaches children lifelong skills that will be valuable no matter what they pursue in adulthood: confidence, bravery, teamwork, speaking clearly, the ability to remember important thoughts, and an attention to detail.

I hope the children in Elwood will have another chance to shine on stage soon.

Photo of child via Shutterstock

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