DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

March 01, 2016 16:19 ET

Rexdale Kids Put Their Best Selves Forward

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 1, 2016) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Bullying, peer pressure, youth violence and delinquency are just a few of the realities faced by our inner city children daily. Our kids severely lack leadership opportunities, and in turn they risk becoming targets of negative influences. How can we help close the opportunity gap and give our kids the chance to shine as leaders?

On Thursday, March 3rd, 7 pm, over 130 kids from 14 Etobicoke schools will showcase their inner leader as they share music, dance and drama presentations on stage at North Albion Collegiate Institute (NACI). Please join the community in celebrating the accomplishments of the children. They are finding the confidence they need to define their own paths to success, and to combat the many challenges along the way. Special guests will include MP Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science; Deputy Mayor Vincent Crisanti; and TDSB Systems Superintendent for School Effectiveness, Annie Appleby.

DAREarts is helping the community combat the severe issues of gang violence, bullying, and poverty facing the kids in the Rexdale area. Children who are at risk of not reaching their full potential are becoming young leaders who will ignite change in their lives and in their community.

Fourteen Northwest Etobicoke schools selected two students each from grades 4 to 8 who need life skills opportunities. These children are challenged by circumstances such as economic, academic, peer pressure or bullying. But at DAREarts, they are equals who see a wider world of opportunities.

DAREarts uses the arts as a tool to empower kids with the courage and confidence to be their best. They are dared to opt out of destructive behaviour and expectations of failure. They are given a safe space where all of their new peers are in the same situation; labels cannot follow them from school and they are given the chance to redefine themselves in a positive environment.

DAREarts Lead Teacher, Laura MacKinnon, has taken these children to arts venues across Toronto to expand their horizons including: the AGO, the Aga Khan Museum, Ballet Jorgen, the Canadian Opera Company, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, and the Toronto School of Art. She was joined by accomplished Canadian artists including: Juno-nominated songwriter, Glenn Marais; Dora-winning actor, Jamie Robinson; co-artistic director of Opera Atelier, Jeannette Zingg; founder & artistic director of Kashedance, Kevin Ormsby; and the first conductor of the Toronto Symphony, Victor Feldbrill.

The children are tasked with the job of going back to their schools after each DAREarts Day to peer teach their classmates, sharing knowledge and experience. Participating schools include Albion Heights JMS, Beaumonde Heights JMS, The Boys Leadership Academy, Broadacres JS, Claireville JS, Cookstown Central PS, Elmbank JMA, The Elms JMS, Melody Village JS, Rivercrest JS, Smithfield MS, West Humber JMS, and Westmount JS.

Kids say of DAREarts: "Thank you for helping me with hard situations." - Gr. 6 student. "At school people make like you have a reputation, and so you have to act the same. DAREarts helps people remember to be unique." - Gr. 6 student

Parents say of DAREarts, "I enjoyed knowing my daughter was learning and building leadership skills. She was having a hard time with the kids at school but it seems the problems have subsided!"

Backgrounder: DAREarts is a Canadian charity that stands for Discipline, Action, Responsibility and Excellence in Education. DAREarts Toronto program works with 9-14 year olds from schools in high-priority neighbourhoods, empowering them to become leaders. Visit www.darearts.com.

DAREarts thanks its lead supporters: Northbridge Insurance, Scotiabank, Guy Carpenter, and the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20160301-1045204_photo_800.jpg

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