An arts mentorship program that invites York Region District School Board (YRDSB) high school students to work with York University theatre and dance students so they can mentor elementary school students is earning rave reviews from participants.
“It’s a really cool opportunity for elementary school students, high school students and York University students to all co-learn together and get a sampling of movement and voice work and production, and just a whole lot of learning about all things that go into theatre and producing works together,” said Shannon Mann, Subject Head of Dramatic Arts at Richmond Hill High School.
The YRDSB/York University Experimental Arts Mentorship Program kicked off with an event at the university that saw students from eight high schools and 11 elementary schools take part in workshops and learn about devised theatre, movement, voice and technical production.
“We get to engage in different types of creations of movement, music, collective work to tech workshops…so students get taste of all different things, and they get to really enjoy and get their hands on into the work that’s there,” said Naguib Keval, Subject Head of Dramatic Arts at Milliken Mills H.S. in Markham.
Aldergrove Public School, Beckett Farms P.S., Nokiidaa P.S., Randall P.S., also in Markham, and Barbara Reid P.S., Summitview P.S., Wendat Village P.S. and Stouffville District Secondary School of Stouffville, were among participating schools.
“It’s good for younger people who are interested in the arts, especially drama, to learn from people who are more experienced,” says Melody, a Grade 11 student at Richmond Hill H.S. Koei, a Grade 8 student at Beckett Farm P.S., enjoyed the fact that everyone was having a lot of fun. “I really felt like comfortable with watching them, so I felt more comfortable while I did it with my friends,” she says of her experience. Click here to earn more and hear from other students and staff taking part in the program.
Photo courtesy of the York Region District School Board.