The physically largest young boy in our school never felt like he fit in; he always walked with his head down and never made eye contact. After participating in the musical theatre program he now walks with his head held high. He sees himself as an artist and someone who can accomplish things.
During a day of severe weather (snow storm) when many of the City's events were shut down, the COTE Community Support Worker suggested to students that the music instructor may not make it to the program. However, they protested and began setting up instruments anyway, advocating for the importance of their program and saying that missing a session was not an option. The instructor ended up arriving and the program was facilitated as usual, but these are students who do not commonly raise their voices to advocate for their own programming and doing so was wonderfully unusual.
The music program has helped increase students’ confidence and connects them with the school because it’s something they enjoy participating in. The increase in attendance rates also increases their academic performance because they are receiving a consistent program on a daily basis.