TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 11, 2012) - Former gang members have advised that programs that engage youth BEFORE they become involved with gangs is the action that needs to be taken across Canada.
On Tuesday, June 12th, 7:00 pm, at Monarch Park C.I. in Toronto, 150 DAREarts kids aged 10 - 14 will present their artistic alternative to guns and gangs. These children from schools in the Toronto District School Board will take up their arms of paint brushes, voices and masks in a showcase which represents their accomplishments in learning and leadership from the DAREarts program.
This evening will showcase the culmination of the last three months of DAREarts Days, in which the students have explored and engaged in visual arts, music, drama, dance, architecture, literature and fashion throughout the 15th to 21st centuries in workshop settings outside of their classrooms. The grades four to eight children who participated had been chosen by their schools with the onus of returning to their respective schools and 'teaching' what they learned. In their DAREarts Days, they explored past world cultures through activities in which they themselves painted, sculpted, sang, danced, composed, designed, wrote and acted, while guided by local arts professionals. The students gained leadership skills by returning to their schools and teaching their classmates what they learned.
"DAREarts has had a positive impact on the kids many of them have come out of their shells, show more confidence with their work." Aldona Volunge, Principal - Elmbank JM Academy.
DAREarts is a Canadian not-for-profit organization which stands for "Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence in Education". DAREarts' 5-year program works with 9-14 year olds from schools in high-priority neighbourhoods, empowering them to become leaders. Visit www.darearts.com. In sixteen years, DAREarts has empowered over 160,000 children from high priority communities to make better choices in their lives and become leaders. When DAREarts teen grads are asked why they are not involved in gangs and drugs, they reply, "We are too busy!"
Education partners who opened their doors to the DAREarts children include the Opera Atelier, the AGO, the ROM, the Bata Shoe Museum, the Design Exchange, the Gardiner Museum, Sampradaya Dance Creations, Long & McQuade, Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, St. Paul's Basilica, BAPS Mandir, Textile Museum, Clearview Arts and Cultural Centre, U. of T. Faculty of Music and the Walmer Centre.
DAREarts thanks its generous supporters, without whom this much-needed program would not be possible, led by corporations Northbridge Insurance, Guy Carpenter and Scotiabank and the Ontario government through the Ontario Arts Council and the Trillium Foundation.