Kenaston School was alive with the sights and sounds of creativity in action on Monday, October 3rd. Twenty-four children from home-based learning environments joined Kenaston elementary students for the Sun West Distance Learning Centre’s first ever Arts Education Workshop. As they moved from classroom to classroom, the students were immersed in a variety of independent and collaborative scenarios where they were encouraged to channel their creativity into story, song and dance. Professional artists from the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange were on hand to lead these sessions, inspiring the youth with their experiences and energy.
“The DLC provides a complete spectrum of K-12 online courses and educational supports that families can access from a home-based learning environment. We know that these learners are also looking for opportunities to connect with their peers in a face-to-face setting. The Arts Ed Workshop was a wonderful way to do just that,” said Kim Johnson, Vice Principal of the DLC. “The expressions on the kids’ faces spoke volumes. They were thrilled to be able to interact with other kids – new kids – in both a fun and educational environment. From our perspective, it was outcome-based, experiential learning at its finest.”
According to one mother who brought four of her home-schooled children to the workshop, the DLC accomplished great things that day. “Our children enjoyed learning new skills but also in taking part of a shared experience with other kids their own ages.”
And from the artists’ perspective, the workshop format creates unique opportunities for heightened self-awareness, but also for broadening perspectives about the world around them. “I see the power of the arts at work in this setting; individual self-esteem blossoms, there is visible delight in the discovery of new talents and interests and at the same time, the arts help young people to make connections and to see the world in new ways,” says professional storyteller, Danica Lorer. “We love sharing our passion with young people who may not have other opportunities to experience the arts.”
With a broad spectrum of K-12 Ministry-approved, online courses, the DLC offers families who have chosen to educate from home a set of quality, educational resources and supports that has not always been accessible in the past. The academic portion of a DLC course, which includes all subject-related content, assessments, videos and instruction, is housed online and accessible to learners any time of day, 365 days a year. And in addition to the digital resources, DLC educators are continuously looking to supplement the online experience with opportunities like the Arts Ed Workshop that enable physical interaction amongst peers. “We are thrilled to work with
organizations like the Cultural Exchange that believe, like we do, that learning happens in a variety of ways. While digital technologies facilitate access in one way, these hands-on events augment that learning with another kind of experience. And creating personalized learning for each learner is what the DLC is all about,” says Johnson.
For more information, contact:
Sun West Distance Learning Centre
Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange