Sponsored by SEDI – TD, DARE2act youth, Laura MacKinnon and Andy Dale gathered at the Loblaw’s Cooking School at Maple Leaf Gardens for a lesson in cooking a fun meal. Some of these kids are going on to college and will be preparing meals for themselves on a tight budget. Some of them are helping out at home, and learning the basics of shopping for nutritional meals will set them up for the future.
They’ve been meeting every month at a special location that engages them in activities ranging from skating to scavenger hunts to theatre and museum visits. This time, it’s culinary arts. They’ve cooked up a mess of chilli, tortillas and cookies and settled down for a chat with Laura and Andy. They’re all from different high schools and this is the only time they have the opportunity to see their DAREarts buddies.
They talk about career choices. They talk about how the arts will always be a part of their lives, whether they choose an arts career or not. They’ll always have a musical instrument. A paintbrush. Words. They’ll be interpreting their world and expressing it through the skills they’ve picked up. Laura is delighted that they’re making this special effort to gather with DAREarts. It’s not about volunteer hours or extra marks. This is about maintaining a meaningful connection they’ve made with DAREarts and each other or the years.
Not too long ago they were grade four kids starting the program for the first time. They had been handpicked by their teachers and principals to be with DAREarts for various reasons. Some of them were painfully shy, some bullied, some came from difficult home situations, and some are new Canadians. All of them have gone through the DAREarts program and, when it was finished, wanted to keep the peer support going. Next year, Duncan is going to Ryerson for aerospace engineering. Khylashean is going to Guelph for Veterinary Studies. Last year’s Leadership Award recipient Chance is heading toward film studies and they’re all looking at the future with confidence in themselves.They already volunteer for our fundraisers, showcases, school trips etc. They’ve turned up as spokespersons, inspiring other kids to DARE2act in positive ways. This summer, they are anticipating summer theatre camp. The anticipation of another weeklong workshop of writing, artwork and learning keeps them asking a question:
Thanks go out to our special friends Andy Dale and Loblaws for this wonderful evening of food, learning and companionship.