“GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.”
–Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation
Like Clifford V. Smith, here at Greenwood we have always viewed participation in the arts as an integral part of educating the whole person. If you follow our school blog, you will know that we have been documenting how our new arts facilities have enhanced participation and created new opportunities for students.
Next week’s Senior Play, Office Hours, offers another great illustration of our arts program in action. Thirty students from Grades 9 to 12 and six staff members have been working diligently for the past three months on this endeavour. Productions such as this are a great opportunity for students from different grades to work together, foster teamwork and build community. I hope you can find time to attend the production.
Students are also in the final weeks of course selection. In making their selections, I hope students will consider an arts course. Greenwood offers an extraordinary selection of 21 arts courses beyond the compulsory Grade 9 arts credit. Currently, close to half of our students in Grades 10 to 12 take an arts credit, which runs counter to the decline in student participation in arts courses which has been noted throughout Ontario’s high schools over the past two decades. Recent studies have illustrated that engagement in the arts has a positive impact on academic engagement and self-esteem.
Increasingly, we are seeing more of our graduates pursue their creative interests by enrolling in arts-related programs such as film, acting, interior design, fashion and graphic design. Given the combination of our new arts facilities, expert staff and broad array of curricular and extracurricular opportunities, I have no doubt that Greenwood will continue to send forth the kind of graduates envisioned by Clifford V. Smith.