SttARTs was piloted last year to overwhelming success. At the end of the program, some adjustments were made based on essential feedback from stakeholders: participating students from 14 OCDSB classrooms, participating teachers and support staff, artists Jacqui and Jamaal, MASC Co- Executive Director Wendy Hartley and MASC English Program Staff, Youth Ottawa Coordinator Helene Boulay and ED Ian Bingeman, and OCDSB Arts Program and Learning coach Jennifer Boudewyn. SttARTs will be explored by Grade 7 and 8 students and will be guided again this year by MASC storyteller artist Jacqui Du Toit and Youth Ottawa’s Artistic Mentorship Coordinator Jamaal Jackson Rogers.
In the first six weeks of the program, Facilitator Jacqui du Toit will take the students through lessons of active listening, will lead them in structuring their own stories, and how to use non-verbal communication in presenting these stories. In the following four weeks, Artistic Mentor Jamaal Jackson Rogers will teach students how to promote and organize an art event where they will share their stories with an audience.
Storytelling supports many of the characteristics and skills of the OCDSBs exit outcomes: goal-oriented, globally aware, innovation and creativity, critical thinking, effective communication. The program also naturally explores curriculum expectations in drama and language arts.