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Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down for May 22

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Woodlawn teacher’s ‘Campfire Tails’

This past weekend, two sold out houses at West T. Hill Community Theatre enjoyed “Campfire Tails,” a play performed by Woodlawn Elementary School’s Drama Club. But it wasn’t just any play — it was written by Drama Club teacher Hillary Zimmerman.

She wrote the play because there weren’t enough characters for all her students in the free scripts available. What she came up with was a play that combines numerous old “folktales” into a single storyline, and gave her students a chance to shine on the West T. Hill stage.

While subjects like reading, math and science give kids an invaluable understanding of how the world around them works, it’s real-world experiences like putting on a play — in a theater for grown-ups, no less — that teach kids how to not just understand the world, but to succeed and thrive in it. Zimmerman clearly feels the same way:

“I believe it’s important for all children to experience many different avenues of interest, including dramatic arts, to be a well-rounded person,” she told Bobbie Curd for a story about the play. “It helps them feel more self-secure and it enhances the quality of life.”

It sounds to us like these students are getting a great education from a great role model.

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Centre trustees special meeting

We are glad to see that Centre College has called a special summer meeting of its board of trustees to discuss the issues of diversity and inclusion that led dozens of students to occupy the Old Centre administrative building for three days in early May.

Perhaps Centre College’s students and administrators could even be held up as a model for the nation on how to resolve conflict.

Too often, protests these days seem to be mostly about shouting at those you disagree with until everyone decides it’s time to go home. Everything is the same after, except everyone is a little bit madder at each other.

That’s not what happened at Centre College. A group of students decided to make a stand for something they believed in, but they didn’t want to just be angry and rage against the machine; they wanted to find solutions.

Centre College President John Roush and his administrators didn’t overreact to the protest, nor did they patronize the students.

Now, the college is continuing to take students’ concerns seriously, with this summer meeting of trustees. It’s refreshing to see disagreements turned into successful resolutions through honest communication; if only the rest of the country could work that way.