There are plenty of things that today's kids don't need, but are given freely - things like video game systems, laptops, fast food and iphones to name a few. Conversely, there are a slew of things that children require in the course of their development in order to grow into caring, successful, motivated and responsible, contributing members of society. Two of these things would be examples of how to live a good life and support from adults in helping the next generation foster their talents and pursue their dreams.
This is something that Kidsville News! publisher Bill Bowman understands, and he has built the publication on the premise that leading by example is one of the surest ways to set today's children on the path to success.
"Kidsville News! is all about literacy, education and developing good character traits in children - everything that the publication represents is geared to that. You've got Truman who is the icon for all those things, plus Truman is anti-drugs, anti-obesity, anti-bullying, anti-alcohol and that sort of thing - and that works. That is what is creating such excitement out there for the educational resource itself."
Not one to let an opportunity go to waste, Bowman wanted to be able to have a group of children that represented and personified the Kidsville News! mission and standards.
"I feel that if a group of young people can demonstrate and represent those traits, not just through song and dance, but through living wholesome lives and by their example, what better impression to make on a young child?" said Bowman.
"That is why I put this group together. The other reason is because here in Fayetteville we have many talented young people - singers, dancers, musicians and they work hard developing their craft. However, they do not have the platform to present their craft and it is very hard for a child to stay motivated and to stay entrenched in what they are doing if they never get to showcase their talent.
"By putting this group together, not only were we able to provide them the training at levels that they haven't had access to, but we are also hoping to create a platform where they can present themselves to the community so they can refine their talents, and get the full exposure of the art itself," Bowman concluded.
To give this group the level of training they require, Bowman turned to Snyder Music Academy Director Joy Cogswell. She and international award-winning choreographer Laurie Morrison have been training the 18 youngsters since this summer to prepare them for their debut into the community. The children are all between the ages of 5 and 14.
Cogswell is involved with the children on more than a musical level, though.
"The goal is to have a group of children that use their talent in a way that exemplifies the ideas behind Kidsville News! as far as literacy, good moral values, educational priorities - things like that, and good, clean, wholesome kids that can get out there and show that it is fun to be a good kid," said Cogswell.
"We are working to put together something that we want to be very superior to (what is already out there) and lots of fun, but yet encourage kids to really step up to the plate and go beyond what they think they might could ever have done."
The group made an appearance in the Snyder Baptist Church Singing Christmas Tree last week and are set to premier at the Kidsville News! Publisher's Convention on Jan. 22. From there, Cogswell hopes that the group will be featured at a variety of events throughout the community, state and region.
"We are hoping that after that we will have lots of opportunity to be out in the public - here and in the surrounding counties. I think his (Bowman's) hope is in the future that as the group progresses and grows that they may have other opportunities in other cities."