Arts Mentorship Program Gives Students Opportunity to Learn From Peers

Secondary school students are working together with York University theatre and dance students to mentor elementary school students, through an arts mentorship program that involves many schools across York Region. 

Students at eight high schools, 11 elementary schools and York University are participating in the YRDSB/York U Experimental Arts Mentorship Program (EAMP). The program began this year with a kick-off event at York University, and includes ongoing mentorship, and each school developing their own 10-minute production on a common theme.

Students from all schools came together for a day of workshops and shared learning on topics such as devised theatre, movement, voice and technical production. Each school developed a 10-minute piece of work on the theme of “journey,” which could be a devised theatre performance, dance, scene or other piece of performance work. Schools recently presented their pieces at York University. 

Students from the secondary schools are taking what they learned from post-secondary students to mentor students at their partner elementary schools. 

“It’s good for younger people who are interested in the arts, especially drama, to learn from people who are more experienced,” said Melody, Grade 11 student at Richmond Hill H.S. 

“I also enjoyed the fact that they seem like they are having a lot of fun doing what they were doing, and I really felt like comfortable with watching them, so I felt more comfortable while I did it with my friends,” Koei, Grade 8 student, Beckett Farm P.S.

“It’s a really cool opportunity for elementary school students, high school students and York University students to all co-learn together and get a sampling of movement and voice work and production, and just a whole lot of learning about all things that go into theatre and producing works together,” said Shannon Mann, Subject Head of Dramatic Arts, Richmond Hill H.S. 

The following schools are participating:

  • Aldergrove P.S.
  • Alexander Mackenzie H.S.
  • Barbara Reid P.S.
  • Beckett Farms P.S.
  • Fairwood P.S. 
  • Herbert H. Carnegie P.S.
  • H.G. Bernard P.S.
  • Huron Heights S.S. 
  • Keswick P.S.
  • Milliken Mills H.S.
  • Mulock S.S.
  • Nokiida P.S. 
  • Randall P.S.
  • Richmond Green S.S.
  • Richmond Hill H.S.
  • Stouffville D.S.S. 
  • Summitview P.S.
  • Trillium Woods P.S.
  • Wendat Village P.S. 
News Release