New Direction for AAF

As a result of a successful pilot project in the spring of 2018, and in conjunction with our partner the Avenue Road Arts School, we are now sending highly qualified and inspiring art teachers to two high needs inner city schools for students in grades 1-3 and grades 4-6.

The results have been encouraging, and the demand for these classes is growing. We have added more classes to accommodate the demand within the two schools – Rose Avenue Public School and Jesse Ketchum Public School – and we can see, by looking at the artwork produced, that the children are learning about art making – and more importantly about life skills such as focus, persistence, hard work and collaboration. We know that with additional resources we could expand into several other high priority schools in Toronto.

Below is a comment from one of the principals involved:

“Jesse Ketchum is a very diverse school located in downtown Toronto. Forty percent of our students are born outside of
Canada, and sixty-four percent speak a language other than English. Our students may live in shelters, in
residences at the University of Toronto, or other subsidized housing and many live below the poverty line. While they are
in the middle of a culturally rich city, many of our students can’t afford to take advantage of the opportunities that exist
on their doorstep. That is why we are thankful to The Arts Access Fund for bringing these rich opportunities to some of
our most needy students. They are able to build on their interests and talents, or be introduced to an art form they
never even knew existed. Programs such as these, with the amazing instructors, level the playing field for students in
need and at-risk, and can build confidence and passion that help a child to succeed in life.”

Elizabeth Holmes, Principal, Jesse Ketchum Public School                

Some comments by the children attending the AAF funded outreach programs:

“You teachers are as bright as the rainbow. We will always remember you”
“Thank your for your beautiful technique. We will miss you. Come next year!”