Arts have vital role in education of children

With arts programs across the country being cut out of schools, I feel compelled to write on behalf of the St. Bernard school arts program. David Belval has led the Arts program at the school for over 50 years. He has taken it from a small program to a top-notch program. Belval has dedicated his life to the St. Bernard community.

A few weekends ago I had the honor of attending a performance at St. Bernard's of the Wizard of Oz. The students did such an amazing job that I went back the second night. It showed that the students took a great deal of pride in planning the performance. The students put on a performance that showed dedication to the Arts. It was evident to me that the students and staff were proud of the play's success.

Schools across the country need to take a look at budgets. They need to seriously consider keeping and expanding arts programs. During my tenure on the New London Board of Education, I always voted in support of arts and New London is going in the right direction with the plan to go to an all-magnet district with schools dedicated to the arts.

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