Students in three inner city schools are gaining valuable exposure to the performing arts. The Globe Theatre School launched a 10 week-long course through their Enbridge Outreach Program this year to help kids develop a new skill set and foster self-esteem. However, the goal is even loftier than that. They’re also combating bullying and disrespect – an issue which couldn’t be timelier.
“A key part of theatre and any creative work is building a strong sense of self, and community and ensemble,” Kristy Apodaca, one of the Globe Theatre School instructors explained.
Through rap, dance, and drama, grade five and six students at Kitchener Community School in Regina explored how creative they can be.
“All of us are a team because we all work together through the Globe,” said one student.
They are a team of individuals with diverse backgrounds, including several students with English as a second language, but they’ve found theatre is their common tongue. And that’s the goal of the program, which is also at Imperial and Saint Theresa elementary schools. It incorporates real life scenarios like bullying as part of the class and explores solutions.
Bullying, as a broad topic, has become a hot button issue after several teen suicides, most recently that of 17 year-old Rehteah Parsons in Nova Scotia earlier this month. Her family met with the prime minister Tuesday.
“It was frustrating for us to go through something like this and to feel so defenseless to do anything to help our daughter,” said Parsons’ father, Glen Canning.
This week, Saskatchewan justice minister, Gordon Wyant is travelling to Ottawa to meet with the federal justice minister to talk about amending the criminal code.
“The message really is that this is a very serious issue and it needs a very serious response. And people need to understand that,” said Wyant.
More specifically, the justice ministers will discuss amending the criminal code concerning the distribution of intimate photographs without consent. Wyant said he expects a response from the federal government later this week.
Back at Kitchener, the solution is simpler – accept everyone for who they are.
“It’s really nice these kids can come into our school and feel like they belong,” said Kitchener grade 5/6 teacher, Chandra Logan.