Saturday, June 16, 2012

Barsby Pathways Students Mural Project


“THROUGH A JOURNEY OF COLLABORATION AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY LIFE WORKS CELEBRATES THE COMPLETION OF A YOUTH MURAL PROJECT WITH THE BARSBY PATHWAYS STUDENTS AND LEAVES A LEGACY OF PRIDE AND CONNECTION TO THEIR SCHOOL COMMUNITY.”
The Barsby Pathways students along with Life Works program facilitators, Yvonne Vander Kooi and Heather Dean, and teacher Michael Gray will be celebrating the completion of their mural project on Thursday, June 21 beginning at 11:45AM with the larger school community. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the mural site outside the Pathways classroom at John Barsby Community High School at noon.
Life Works has been operating in the Pathways program since October 2011 every Thursday afternoon. The students in Pathways are a dynamic and energetic group of youth who are involved in an alternative learning environment where they can receive extra support.
The facilitators and classroom teacher have seen increased participation and attendance by students due to the creative activities and dialogue throughout the mural process. There has been a deeper involvement and exploration around life skills and an increased sense of self-esteem as their skill building improved and they took pride in the projects they completed during the mural process.
The students have had the opportunity to dialogue around life skills such as self-esteem, healthy relationships, healthy lifestyle choices, peer pressure, stereotypes and racism and integrate their ideas and learning into the image making process for the mural. Creative hands on activities such as; stenciling, graffiti lettering, drawing exercises, super hero comic pages, and large self-portraits on canvas all contributed to the overall project of the mural. 
The mural is a large scale, colourful, dynamic and youth driven collage of images and text that speaks to what is important to them and highlights messages that speak to their hopes and dreams, values, community, friendship, the environment, learning, curiosity and to the unpredictable and zany nature of life. Other students and teachers in the school have watched the painting of the mural and have expressed their enthusiasm and support. The community legacy component to the school based mural offers the students an opportunity to showcase their work to the school community and experience a sense of accomplishment, pride and place.

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