One Man's success story

At Wednesday's Connecticut Arts Advocacy Day in Hartford, we heard from Erik Brown, Principal of Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury. Erik owes his career success to the arts. As a child growing up in New Haven, he struggled in school due to dyslexia. It was through the arts, through song and rhythm and story that he learned to read. His mother encouraged him to audition for the Trinity Boys Choir, and he was accepted. The arts took hold of Erik and guided him through his education. He went to Betsy Ross Magnet School and later Education Center for the Arts. (we subsequently learned that Representative Toni Walker taught Erik at the Dixwell Arts Center) This kid who was math challenged as an elementary student later aspired to be a math teacher. Instead he was offered a job teaching language arts. The teacher became a principal, one who claims he is "of the arts." This principal needs no convincing that the arts are valuable; he knows it. Erik Brown lives and breathes arts education. He made us all want to be kids again.

Cindy Clair

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