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October 13, 2006
For immediate release
Local Students’ ArtsSmarts Project Featured in National Exhibit
As part of East Wiltshire School ArtsSmarts project, Luncheon at William H. Pope’s, teacher Jody MacDonald and her 42 grade eight students studied and researched historical facts on the delegates of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864. Students wrote speeches and prepared dialogues as if they were delegates at the Conference. Working with artist Karyn MacPhee, students also studied and designed two heritage costumes. The successful completion of the project was celebrated at a luncheon at Ardgowan National Historic Site, once the home of Father of Confederation William Henry Pope. During the celebrations, the 42 students dressed in period costumes, hosted an authentic luncheon and delivered speeches and dialogues in the style of the Fathers of Confederation.
“I want to congratulate teacher Ms. MacDonald, artist Ms. MacPhee and the students who put so much effort into their project and are being rewarded with this national recognition,” said Minister MacFadyen. “Through this hands-on activity, students have learned to appreciate the importance of arts and culture, which I hope will result in long-term support for Canadian art and heritage.”
ArtsSmarts engages young people by bringing together artists and educators, schools and communities to integrate the arts into the daily work of students studying core subjects such as social studies, math, and language arts. Students learn history through drama, math through dance, and science through music, by creating projects that reflect local culture and heritage while working within the requirements of the provincial curriculum.
Education Minister Mildred Dover congratulated the students, teachers and artists. “This is a fantastic project which clearly demonstrates the power of the ArtsSmarts program to bring people together to help students learn through the arts. Initiatives like this go a long way to help students develop an appreciation of the arts and a love of learning at an early age,” she said.
In Prince Edward Island, ArtsSmarts is a joint initiative of the Department of Education, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and community organizations. The National ArtsSmarts Exhibit is an annual event which brings together a sampling of various ArtsSmarts projects from throughout Canada. Featured in the 2006 exhibit will be two period costumes created by the students of East Wiltshire.
The next submission date for funding with the ArtsSmarts Program is November 1, 2006. For more information about applying for ArtsSmarts, contact Cécile Arsenault, ArtsSmarts Coordinator, 902-854-7265.