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Perth PS program builds community through dance

Perth PS program builds community through dance

Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Dance is a universal language. That principle is the starting point for creating a meaningful bond between Perth Ave PS junior students and their kindergarten friends through a program called Dance Buddies.  

Similar to Reading Buddies, the program pairs students from two different grades: one in grade 4 or 5 and the other in kindergarten.  However, they communicate using their bodies rather than their voices.  

Teacher Arwyn Carpenter conceived the program as a way for junior students to guide the youngest dancers in designing and controlling their movements. In this way, the program offers opportunities to enhance student leadership skills. “Students also develop keen awareness of their physical selves, helping with self-regulation and expression,” she added in describing some of the other benefits of the program. 

Teaching is Carpenter’s second career.  She brings the experience of her first career as a dance artist and choreographer to her capacity as an educator for the TDSB. Her program has come to be a favorite for students. Grade 5 student Maria said that in Dance Buddies, everyone works together in a group to create something beautiful.  Kindergarten student Gracie agreed, adding simply “I like to dance and I am good at it.”

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