Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 22, 2005 · Page 31
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 31

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Page 31
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C M K Y P G C M K Y P G C M K Y P G C M K Y P G Jun 22 2005 2:13:12:453AM PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2005 C-7 UChoose MY GENERATION HotTopic FOR KIDS • ABOUT KIDS • BY KIDS Keep the arts in school W hat kid doesn’t love music? And making art is something that almost every child enjoys. So why is it that when school budget cuts occur, the first places to feel the financial strain are the music and arts departments? Between the 1999-2000 school year and the 2003-04 school year, schools inCali- fornia reported a 50 percent decline in student involvement in music education programs due to dire financial strain.In late 2004, the California Performance Review (CPR) proposed a second graduation pathway for workforce development that would remove the arts requirement for high school graduation in the state. Teachers in Wisconsin say the No Child Left Behind law, pushed into existence by President Bush, is threatening music and art programs throughout the state. School districts statewide are slashing the music and art programs in order to reduce the budget. They feel pressured to cut these programs first because, unlike math, writing and reading, music and art are not government-tested. What do we, as students, need to do to keep our music and arts programs alive, not only for us but for future generations as well? I’m sure we all remember the good old days of elementary school when we got to sing songs, learn to play a musical instrument and create fun art projects. Do we really want to see such an integral part of our education, one that keeps us well-rounded and exposed to the cultural arts, eliminated because schools would rather cut themthan cut the budget forathletics ? Music education has taken a back seat to sports, and if we don’t do something about it, music education will eventually cease to exist in our public school systems. I, for one, do not want to live to see “the day the music died.” Let’s do something now to save our music departments for the future. Don’t let our arts programs end up like those dinosaurs we learned about in elementary school: extinct. Adult-size controversy: ATVs are popular but dangerous By Fern Shen The Washington Post Y ou’re hitting the gas so you can zoom, zoom, zoom up the hill and then — woooo HOOOO — you’re catching air! All four wheels are off the ground, and you land with a thud, sending up a spray of sand as you head off toward a tight curve. That may sound like a video-game moment, but it’s something kids really do when they ride all-terrain vehicles. About the size of riding lawn mowers, ATVs are four-wheeled vehicles equipped with engines that can go as fast as a motorcycle. As fun as they are, however, ATVs also can be dangerous. The number of children under 16 who have been hurt or killed on ATVs has risen as the vehicles have gotten more popular in the United States. In April, 9-year-old Brad McDonald of Anne Arundel County, Md., died in an ATV accident. Brad was wearing a helmet, goggles and protective clothing when he lost control of an adult-size ATV. “I wouldn’t recommend any kid hopping on one. They could ride it 100 times and be fine, and then that one time, not be,” Carlton Powell Sr. said recently. Powell’s 14-year-old son, Carlton (known to the family as “Junior”), died in 2003 when he lost control of the adult-size ATV he was riding at a Laurel, Md., gravel pit. Although Powell wants to spread the word about the dangers of ATVs, he knows their popularity makes it hard to protect kids from them. “They’re going to keep selling them,” he said. Maybe the best thing “is to make sure there are safe, supervised places for people to ride them. … But these accidents keep happening.” In the late 1980s, the federal government banned three-wheeled ATVs, saying they were too dangerous. However, the industry still makes the four-wheeled kind. The rules for riding them vary from state to state. There’s no minimun age to drive ATVs in Maryland, except for some designated spots on state-owned land where riders must be at least 12 and have an adult with them. In Virginia, the age minimum is 16 for adult-size ATVs and 12 for the youth models. In Pennsylvania, there are restrictions for riders under 16. Recently, doctors and other groups asked the federal government to do more to keep kids from being hurt on ATVs. They want to get children off the adult-size ATVs, which can weigh more than 500 pounds. Children don’t have the body weight, strength or judgment to control them at high speeds, medical experts agree. ATV critics have asked the government to make it illegal for dealers to sell new adult- size ATVs if they know the vehicles are going to be used by kids. Dealers point out that most adult ATVs are clearly marked “not for use by children under 16.” Not everyone agrees that more rules are needed. ATV makers say their products are safe if used properly and that the proposed federal law would be too hard to enforce. They say it should be up to parents, not the government, to make sure that kids who ride ATVs get training, are supervised when they ride, wear the proper gear and ride a vehicle that’s the right size for them. Crystal Landry, 15, of Accokeek, Md., has ridden ATVs since she was 3. She rides an adult-size Yamaha Blaster and says she follows her parents’ rules. “I can’t ride without people with me,” she said. “… I stay far back from other riders.” Crystal, who once broke her wrist on a jump, said she believes safety is important, but that she mostly rides ATVs for fun. “I like to go fast and see if I can jump. It’s a very fun sport if you know what you’re doing.” Lynnette Carr, 18 Elizabeth Forward High School Howie McCormick/Associated Press ATVs are popular among children and adults. But some groups believe the vehicles are too dangerous for anyone besides older riders. Classic Peanuts By Charles Schulz Hagar the Horrible By Chris Browne Drabble By Kevin Fagan Mother Goose and Grimm By Mike Peters Bizarro By Dan Piraro Foxtrot By Bill Amend Garfield By Jim Davis Dennis the Menace By Hank Ketcham “There. Isn’t that a lot better than that boring ol’ ball game?” Marmaduke ® By Brad Anderson The Family Circus By Bil Keane “Daddy bought this poster in Seattle. It’s the Space Pin.” “I said, Slippers, S-L-I-P-P-E-R-S, SLIPPERS!” The Amazing Spider-Man By Stan Lee When a bear comes to breakfast By Sherry Joe Crosby Los Angeles Daily News W hat’s better than watching Disney’s “Bear in the Big Blue House”? How about eating waffles with the Bear in your very own home? That’s what 6-year-old Noah Vivanco got a chance to do recently when Bear showed up at the youngster’s home in Northridge to tape an episode for Disney Channel’s new show, “Breakfast With Bear.” The program will focus on healthy morning routines and feature Bear visiting young children at breakfast time. Noah said he had a lot of fun chatting with Bear over breakfast . “We had chocolate chip waffles and syrup.” Bear also suggested ways for Noah to incorporate healthy foods, such as blueberries, strawberries and bananas into the boy’s breakfast favorites. And Bear, like his kind everywhere, proved to be quite large. “He was bigger than a chair,” said Noah, who invited the cuddly carnivore into his bedroom. But the highlight of the day for Noah was wearing his pajamas. Because the episode will feature Noah’s morning routine, including brushing his teeth and combing his hair, he was allowed to stay in his PJs. “It was really fun.” “BREAKFAST WITH BEAR” What: Bear, from the hit show “Bear in the Big Blue House,” visits preschoolers and kindergartners at breakfast time and gives them tips on starting out the day in a healthy way. Where : Disney Channel. When: 7 to 8 a.m. weekdays; Noah’s segment will air July 29. Disney’s “Bear” is dropping in for breakfast.

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