Chris Reid explores the Campus Community Garden Field learning: Chris Reid explores the Campus Community Garden with local youth participating in the “Changing the Odds” program.

Performance to demonstrate program’s impact on youth

Local youth participating in this summer’s “Changing the Odds: Community transformation through the arts” program will present a free public performance Friday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre’s Studio Theatre.

The program, led by Charlotte LeFrank, public education coordinator for the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society with the assistance of three drama students, has engaged 30 Windsor teens in experiences with a view to expanding their horizons through drama, music, dance and art.

Organizer Tina Pugliese, director of the School of Dramatic Art, says the program has thrived on community outreach.

“We have had a number of community guest artists visit over the summer, bringing inspiration and positives messages that have reinforced the program’s objectives,” she says.

Among them were Chris Reid, a field learning specialist in the School of Social Work, leading a tour of the Campus Community Garden, and philosophy professor Jeff Noonan discussing the essence of his discipline.

Partner agencies hope to keep the youth involved, including roles as peer mentors for next year’s participants.

Professor Jeff Noonan told participants in the “Changing the Odds” program that the essence of philosophy is “being engaged with what’s going on in the present moment and learning from it.”