I think my kids attend the coolest school in all of Toronto (my opinion may be a little biased).
It’s a small alternative school focused on social justice, environmentalism, and community activism. I could be wrong, but I think the American equivalent to a Canadian alternative school would be a Charter school…? Maybe? Actually I’m not sure. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Basically, the Grove Community School still follows the provincial curriculum and is a public school, but has a lot more freedom as to how they go about meeting the standards. This means they can do a lot of creative and unconventional things you wouldn’t see in a standard school.
For example, every morning they start the day with the Grove Gathering. This is when they have announcements, they sing the school theme song, the national anthem and my favourite part – they read a short statement of recognition saying that we stand on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation.
I’m telling you, this school is pretty amazing and it means a lot to me that my children are learning in a school environment that is so open minded and recognizes the contribution of Aboriginal peoples to our city and our country.
Anyway, this past weekend, the Grove School had an art show to raise money for the school at the Toronto landmark building, the Gladstone Hotel. The building is known in the city for being an arts and music hotspot for hipsters, so it was a pretty big deal for the kids to have their artwork displayed on it’s walls. It was a proud moment for all the parents of the up and coming artists.
Here’s my daughters piece, called “We do not care about you”.
The text was a picture she took of some graffiti in the neighbourhood that originally said ‘We do not care about you”, and someone came along and scratched out the “not”, completely changing the message. I was told that someone came in and purchased one of the ‘limited’ prints. It was a person who we don’t know and is not involved with the Grove School at all. Pretty cool. She made her first sale!
And here is my son’s piece. He calls it “Rainbow”.
The weekend art show represents the completion of months of work on this project and I’m so proud of my kids, all the students and the Expressive Arts teacher for putting together such a fabulous show.
I can’t wait for next years big art event.