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Exploring Creativity: Inspiring Minds, Empowering Lives

Explore the impact and success of Exploring Creativity In-Depth programs since 2002. Engaging 4,500 students and 185 teachers in 25 schools, our programs empower students through art and imagination. With 10 programs for children with special needs and pilot programs in Picton, we strive to foster creativity and self-expression in students from all backgrounds. Our performance overview includes workshops, shows of student work, and presentations at conferences worldwide. Testimonials and documentation highlight the positive changes in students and teachers.

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Exploring Creativity: Inspiring Minds, Empowering Lives

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  1. Impact Report 2002 – to date www.exploringcreativity.org

  2. Performance Overview • 160 Exploring Creativity In Depth programs since 2002 • 4,500 students and 185 teachers • 25 schools, most from priority neighbourhoods (inner suburbs) of Toronto (Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Boards) • 10 programs for children with special needs • Pilot programs in Picton (Prince Edward County) • 21 qualified artist/teachers staff the programs • 150 parent-volunteers provided 800 volunteer hours

  3. Performance Overview • 16 teachers’ workshops • 14 shows of student drawings and creative writing at the NeilsonPark Creative Centre (6), Arts Etobicoke Gallery (2), and in schools (7) • Presentations at conferences in Britain, U.S.A., South America and Canada • New programs online in fall 2011: • Nature and Imagination Through Art and Science • In-school ECiD for grades 6-8 • ECiD for Secondary Students “at risk”

  4. Student feedback on program Feel more happy Feel more excited Feel more interested Feel more confident Feel more creative Would like to do more arts/crafts Learned about others in their class Learned about themselves Learned about arts Gave positive feedback

  5. Teachers observe positive changes in students Express empathy Social skills Ability to pay attention Confidence & self esteem Desire to engage in art Use of creative imagination

  6. Documentation • 3,000 feedback forms from students, teachers and parent-volunteers • 60 post-program interviews with selected teachers • Selected student artworks and creative writing archived • 25 longitudinal profiles with teachers and students • 2 Assessments • 4 videos: (1) 30 min. documentary; (2) 10 minute doc.; (3) ECiD at a school Festival of the Arts; (4) Teacher Interviews

  7. Documentation Girl, Grade 8 A. The Place I Used to See. B. The Magical Land of Dreams

  8. Documentation Boy, Grade 8 • Gone unnoticed. Alone. Misunderstood. Depressed. Nowhere to go. Lifeless. Gone. • Complexity & Depth of THE MIND. The mind has endless possibilities. Impossible in Nothing.

  9. Testimonial: Teacher I • 2002: teacher without background in art gave 100 mins. per weekly cycle for the arts. • Brought her classes to the ECiD several times, attended teachers’ workshop • 2011: gives 210 mins. for Visual Art, Music, Dance and Drama, plus 240 mins. for integrating arts with Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. • Quadrupled time for arts in her timetable • Enjoys teaching more than ever

  10. Testimonial: Teacher I This teacher said the ECiD program showed her the value of: • Non-directed creativity • Integrating the arts in all subject areas • Students have opportunity to feel and be successful • Arts programming meets the learning styles and strengths of all students • More time for creative activities makes teaching more enjoyable

  11. Testimonial: Teacher II A grade six teacher : • “Students and teacher after experiencing the program go back to school and everyday life retaining an unspoken connection on a deeper level almost as if on a soulful level. Greater respect for each other and their vulnerability = Trust.”

  12. Testimonial: Students I • Boy, Grade 2: “My art makes me feel peaceful because of the colours I used. My art is saying welcome to my world! I think I am a good artist because I drew this picture.” • Girl, Grade 5: “In my mind I wonder what’s there,/ Miracles, dreams, all about me./ My imagination flows through this delicate system./. . . All my own for me to hold,/ My mind a beautiful thing.”

  13. Testimonials: Students II • Boy, Grade 7: “My imagination showed me something I did not know and I couldn’t describe, so I drew it out.” • Girl, Grade 7: “I learned I can put my imagination on paper.” • Boy, Grade 8: “This artwork expresses one’s creativity and imagination. It shows anyone can do anything.”

  14. Testimonials: Students III Grade 8 male student, third time: “This trip made me feel that I should be a artist instead of a engineer. Every time I come [on] the trip and make a picture, everyone in my class and also my group that I share my picture loved it. My group wanted to just go in the picture and explore the new world they saw in my picture.” Dec. 2010.

  15. Testimonial: Educators IOn Clarkson Report, “My Mind a Beautiful Thing” • “Education is all about releasing the imagination and encouraging creativity. This Report . . . attempts to get at the meaning of education.” • John Ralston Saul, essayist and novelist. • “I thought the Report excellent. . . I do hope it will have appropriate responses from those with power to make changes.” • Kieran Egan, Prof. of Education, Simon Fraser University; Director, Imagination in Education Research Group.

  16. NEW PROGRAMS Five minutes of free drawing with or without listening to music: focuses attention, calms feelings and tunes up mind and body in preparation for sustained attention and cognitive effort.

  17. NEW PROGRAMS An experience of nature and the creative process for grades 4 to 8. A Nature Walk and a 20-minute “Solo” in a park, woodland, or ravine, followed by sculpting in clay.

  18. NEW PROGRAMS ECiD-SS. A ten-week, arts enrichment, rite of passage program for students who lack demonstration of academic success and are referred by their educational team.

  19. Funders and partners

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