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Let Children Play With Pixie Dust

October 27, 2002

My hero this week is "Fairy Glimmer" (a.k.a. Sheryl Cancellieri) and the parents who send their children to her Fairy School ("Who Needs Soccer Practice When You Can Dance on a Toadstool?" by Leslee Komaiko, Metropolis, Oct. 6). While early childhood teachers have largely resigned themselves to carrying out our societal mandate to hurry children along in their journey to adulthood, and many parents participate in this "adultification" by fast-tracking their kids into all manner of pseudo-mature pursuits, Cancellieri leads children into fancy and wonder. That's no trifle.

Neuro-development experts know that the "downward thrust" of academic curricula into kindergarten and preschool thwarts rather than accelerates our children's development. Why don't schools and most parents recognize this? The statistics on America's troubled youth are staggering. If youngsters were offered more pixie dust (and other staples of imagination), and less of our cold, adult intellect, maybe we could turn that tragic tide.

Marcy Axness

Granada Hills

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