The McNair Mini School holds the Arts as one of its four main pillars. The other three pillars of the program are: Academics, Outdoor Education and Social Responsibility. At the TED Talks 2006 in California, Sir Ken Robinson said:
creativity is as important in education as literacy and it should be treated with the same status
A little more from Sir Ken, and a little deeper…..
If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. Most kids of have lost that capacity. Our education system says that mistakes are the worst thing you can make. This is backed up by marks and letter grades kids will carry with them forever, some as scars. The system we have to report on student learning and achievement is educating children out of their creative capacities. Companies today stigmatize mistakes. Getting educated out of creativity.
The Mini School intends to not let that happen! To support the Arts (and creativity) pillar, students of the McNair Mini School do two major projects (Night of the Notables and Science Fair), and put on an annual Arts Night. The latter is the main focus of this entry.
Under the direction of our very own Mrs. Watts, who has an unreal ability to connect with students and for productivity, the students are required to perform something on Theatre McNair’s stage in the Annual Performing Arts Night. In addition, this event also supports the Mini School’s Social Responsibility pillar as all proceeds are donated to Canuck Place. Over the years, the Mini School has donated just over $11,000 from the Arts Night endeavour.
Let it be known that the performances are not polished acts, but each is an opportunity for students to step outside of their comfort zones and grow as individuals. Students are forced to be creative, work collaboratively (if they choose), and ‘push their envelope’ and feel the stress of being in front of a live audience. The stage is the one place that is the equalizer for most kids. Some kids can be rough and tough in sports and outdoor trips, others can be agressive socially, but on the stage all of that is nullified as they stand there with no where to hide in front of all the theatre to see. Have a look at some of the media for the event, two pictures and a video!