|DiscoverAbility®'s greatest success is our commitment to opening up mentorship opportunities for children, youth and young adults. Actively seeking out and developing relationships with different elementary and high schools as well as colleges and universities, our program gives young members of society the unique opportunity to help their community while, at the same time, participating within a hands-on workshop environment, learning new skills under the direction of their older peers.
DiscoverAbility’s goal is to develop an arts practicum teaching curriculum where older students will mentor to younger members within specific communities. Using an experiential learning approach, students will work together to access problems facing the community and determine means through which they can be overcome.
Our workshops use the arts as means through which to encourage young people to examine and develop solutions for complex challenges, whether through the donation of the proceeds of their artwork to charity or through our increasingly popular community development workshops. For example, DiscoverAbility recently organized a Social Work workshop at Ryerson University, where Ryerson Social Work students hosted high school and elementary school students from the Malvern community. In small groups, Ryerson social work students facilitated a discussion of the important issues that the Malvern students anticipated within their community. With the help of Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts drama students, the small groups played out possible obstacles and solutions they saw within their community for their peers. All members of the group were encouraged to participate as equals within their workshop, the older students acting as guides rather than teachers or instructors.
While many programs offer children, youth and young adults the opportunity to learn about science, mathematics and technology through conventional large group lectures, DiscoverAbility energizes subjects through the use of the arts as a vehicle to learning as it is becoming apparent to educators the increasing importance of active participation. Ryerson University's Women-In-Engineering has become one of our partners, aware that there is a need to infuse their workshops with the arts as future means to engage their audience. Again partnering with Ryerson, we have created a special Social Work mentorship workshop, bringing elementary, high school and university students together to identify and develop solutions for complex social problems. The presence of drama, art, photography, film and dance brings the subject matter alive for both the mentor and the mentee.
art and recreation retreats