Written by Kathryn Clark, Program Facilitator with TDSB Newcomer Services – Welcoming Communities
“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Picasso
For people of all ages, art offers the opportunity to express, to create, to think outside the box, and to have fun. For the students in the Newcomer Services – Welcoming Communities program, art is all of these things and more. Over the past few months, facilitators at different schools in the TDSB have been working with students to foster creative thinking, boost self-esteem, promote engaged learning, and teach lessons of empathy… all through art!
Some of the other lessons that our facilitators and students have learned through the art program include:
- Art is Subjective – there is no right or wrong in art, which means that it can provide students with a sense of accomplishment that has lasting effects in other areas of their lives.
- Art Supports English Language Learners – for those students who may not have English as a first (or even second, or third!) language, art is also a wonderful way for them to communicate with peers, and to share their voice. This affirmation of self goes a long way to supporting the transition of new language learners to different classroom, and out-of-classroom, communities.
- Art is a Tool for Collaboration – teamwork doesn’t come easily to everyone, but collaborative art pieces allow students to express themselves as individuals while creating a group masterpiece that boosts confidence, and teamwork skills.
For more ideas on how to use art at home, or with your students, check out the Art Projects for Kids website.
For more information on this and other settlement, employment, language training and skills development programs, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/communityservices.