DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

February 21, 2007 14:13 ET

General R. J. Hillier Speaks with DareArts Children About Leadership

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 21, 2007) - General Rick Hillier, Chief of Defence Staff, met with ten DareArts teens late yesterday to talk with them about Leadership. The youth, always excited to have the opportunity to speak with such an important Canadian figure, peppered him with questions about this complex topic, as well as conditions in Afghanistan.

To view a photo of General Hillier with the DareArts teens please view the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/dare221.jpg

General Hillier has a deep and unusual understanding of how important art, music and dance can be in restoring a full life to children who have been wounded by war. He has lent his support to DareArts in our work with our Canadian troops to help children in Afghanistan through art, as well as help aboriginal children in remote Canadian communities. DareArts has sent over 2000 original cards to our soldiers in Afghanistan, who have then personally handed them to the children in Afghanistan villages. These cards have messages inside in Farsi that say "We love you from Canadian children". Another 2000 cards are set to go.

General Hillier is this year's DareArts Cultural Award Recipient, to be presented at the 2007 DareArts' Leadership Awards Gala on April 26 at the Royal Ontario Museum. This prestigious event also honours 6 urban teens who have emerged from the DareArts' unique 5-year arts education program as leaders amongst their peers.

The DareArts Leadership Awards encourage inner city teens to "stay the course" away from guns and gangs. Now in high school, these teens are setting paths to follow for themselves as well as to lead others. In the process, they are becoming the kind of Canadian citizens of whom we can be immensely proud.

DareArts, which was founded by former teacher Marilyn Field, M.S.M., is a charitable foundation that empowers children to become leaders in their communities through arts education. This innovative 5 year program works with 'at risk' 9-14 year olds from both urban and rural schools. The children explore world cultures of the past and present through activities in which they themselves paint, sculpt, sing, dance, compose, design, write, act and create, guided by leading arts professionals. The children gain leadership skills by returning to their community schools and teaching their classmates what they have learned. Celebrating its 11th year, DareArts has influenced over 110,000 children across Canada.

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