On November 28, 2012, students, faculty and staff experienced the methods of Cirque du Soleil in a morning designed to stimulate their creativity. The morning workshop, entitled A Day of Creativity with Purpose (Innovation), was brought to us by Kris Burley, an Olympian and former Artistic Director at Cirque du Soleil.
During the first part of the morning session, different artists performed and discussed innovation and improvisation as an art. Artists, including an opera singer, improv comedians and dancers, discussed how creativity is important in their professional and everyday lives.
Kris Burley discussed his experience working with the Cirque du Soleil’s formation program, which is designed to break down the walls people build around themselves to bring out their inner authenticity and personal creativity. It does this by creating a dynamic—somewhat chaotic—environment to expose each of us to our own vulnerability and to allow us to discover our own unique perspectives while connecting to others. The idea is to work with this not “normal method,” to make new connections and come up with new ideas and approaches.
In the second half of the morning session, students were broken into groups to apply their creativity to the shared purpose of addressing real-life problems and questions. Each group wrote down their ideas on a large piece of paper. Although only some groups presented their ideas, all of the ideas will be read and explored at the Forum for Change. These solutions will be further explored throughout the year as we put our minds to innovation in the world.
TEDxHavergalCollege brought us a morning of wonder and ideas as inspiring thinkers joined us to share their insights into “The World As We Don’t Know It” on November 3, 2012.
Priscilla Uppal shared with us that Plato was an Olympic medallist and encouraged us to remember the connection between physicality and great thinking. Marina Nemat spoke of the fragility of civil society and how we must always be prepared to protect and nurture our peaceful way of life. Mark Kingwell reinforced this message with his invocation that we must demand the impossible of ourselves and others, and not settle for ‘reality’ as we make decisions in life. All those in attendance departed stimulated, never to see the world in the same way again.
TEDxHavergalCollege was a student initiative by Stephanie Ronald, Caroline Marshall, Susanna Manziaris and Kaitlyn Francis. Congratulations to them for a successful event!
Hip Hop Dancers Make a Surprise Appearance at Lunch
During lunch on Monday, October 1, 2012, Upper School students were surprised with two hip hop dancers from Artists' Play Dance School dancing through the Hawkins Dining Hall, Temerty Commons and the Labatt Quad. The surprise presentation was to launch “A Space for Beauty: Images of the World We Want,” a student multimedia exhibit that will run through November in partnership with the Institute at Havergal and the Art department.
“Shifting the context of art has the power to increase accessibility and relatedness, and underscores an understanding of art as a viable and effective tool for change,” explains Suzanne Zelaso, the exhibit’s curator, about the idea for the multimedia exhibit.
Students are encouraged to paint, write, film, sing or build an idea of a beautiful world and submit their work to be included in the exhibit to the Forum for Change by November 2.
How Celebration Saturday Supports Our Community Partnerships
Celebration Saturday is a long-standing Havergal tradition begun by Old Girls and dating back many decades. All the proceeds raised at Celebration Saturday go to support Havergal’s community partnerships. Havergal’s student leaders work directly with our community partners to identify opportunities to support our partnerships. In the coming months, Havergal’s Community Council student members will allocate the funds raised at Celebration Saturday among our community partnerships. For an understanding of how we strengthen our programs, in 2011, funds raised from Celebration Saturday:
Provided marketing materials, costumes and equipment for Appletree Farmers Market.
Enabled ArtHeart to run after-school programming two days per week by supporting a stipend for staff. The programming provides an opportunity for our students to enjoy art with the children of Regent Park.
Provided food and programming costs for five communal Best Buddies events, where our students shared friendships and life experiences with their buddies.
Sent one child to Camp Kirk, a camp for children with disabilities, for 14 days.
Purchased a class set of 12 iPads and provided professional development training for Derrydown teachers on applications and functionalities of iPads at Derrydown Public School. Many of these teachers support the Derrydown Saturday Morning Program where our students volunteer.
Provided supplies and resources for a shared project to explore Canadian citizenship for Grenoble Public School, which is located in Flemington Park, a community of new Canadians. We also purchased educational board games and organized a performance at Grenoble by Canadian artists to celebrate Canada.
Provided graphic novels to support the after school literacy program at Lawrence Heights Middle School, where our students volunteer and work with their buddies on reading and homework.
Provided three shelves for the books used in the literacy program at Lotherton Pathways, a table for the ANC program space and three tents for community festivals. Building capacity enables the drop-in programs where we volunteer to provide a richer experience to the children of Joyce Avenue Public School.
Supported Moorelands Baby Bundles Program by providing basic baby supplies and clothes to new mothers in Flemingdon Park.
Provided a small salary and professional development for Siyawela Ark’s “local One Laptop Per Child hero” Portia to develop the OLPC program, which we introduced at the Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity (NOAH) Arks. We also contributed to a larger data package to support the program.
Provided 60 pairs of running shoes, T-shirts, books and school supplies for the Chalk Farm location where we volunteer at the Running and Reading Program as a part of Start2Finish. We also supported buses from Chalk Farm PS to York University for the culminating 5 km Running & Reading Challenge.
Provided spoken word workshops, art supplies, lunches and snacks for Trails Youth Initiatives participants in our shared programming.
Provided new textbooks for our partner, the Whittlesea GAP school, as a part of the Triangle of Hope program that supports the rapidly changing curriculum in South Africa.
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