A new arts program brings fully-funded arts experiences to York Region schools.

Local dignitaries recently attended the launch of the Aurora Cultural Centre’s (ACC) Kaleidoscope in the Schools (“KITS”), a unique, full-service professional performing arts program built by the ACC.

The KITS program removes multiple barriers to access so that everyone, regardless of economic background, socio-dependency or exceptionality can participate.

A fundamental principle of the Kaleidoscope in the Schools program is that it is funded by and for the community. The program serves students in junior kindergarten to grade four, including a professional development component for their teachers, pre-show activities, an assembly performance, post-show activities or small-group workshops with the performing artists, and a connection with their families.  “KITS4KIDS” is a perpetual crowdfunding campaign that creates sustainability.

The ACC plans to bring this program to all publicly-funded schools in Aurora, and all historically under-resourced elementary schools in York Region as defined by the region’s school boards. To reach these 52 elementary schools and over 12,000 kids, the ACC needs $278,000 annually, which is 927 people giving a minimum of $25 per month. The ACC believes the KITS program opens doors to creativity and tolerance and creates lasting positive memories through a shared experience of the arts.

“The KITS pilot program in our Aurora community was highly successful, and received clear and positive feedback,” ACC executive director Suzanne Haines said. “This included information about student experiences that described their learning and creative initiatives that resulted from the program. Teachers reported multiple impacts, including new approaches to arts integration applicable to the broader curriculum, and enhanced knowledge supporting specific arts curriculum needs. We are delighted that our stakeholders continue to look for ways to continue to implement this program into the future, and to help us grow so we can deliver to those who do not have access to the arts in greater York Region.”

The success of the Kaleidoscope in the Schools is largely due to the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Grow grant of $200,000 that ACC received from OTF in 2020 to expand the KITS program.

For complete information about Kaleidoscope in the schools, visit https://kits4kids.ca/



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