Creating a sense of belonging through the promotion of the arts was integral to the accomplishments of music students from three Saskatoon collegiates. Debbie Tilk (Tommy Douglas Collegiate), Stacey Mortenson (Centennial Collegiate) and Brett Balon (Nutana Collegiate), shared how the ArtSmarts grant funded the SWEAT program. SWEAT stands for Songwriters’ Education and Training. Jesse Davis Selkirk, a professional writer, spent time at Nutana working with students on their songwriting skills. They created a class song about a historical Saskatonian – Two Guns Cohen. The opportunity was further enhanced when students recorded their work at a professional studio. This time of self-reflection was described as “enhancing your quality of life” and “the story your sound can portray”. Mr. Balon shared how formative assessment practices were used and how the initiative had a positive impact on student attendance. Charlene Moore a Grade 12 student from Nutana Collegiate shared a student’s perspective of the SWEAT process.
Thank you to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for financially supporting ArtSmarts grants. These funds, the
dedication from our teachers and the enthusiasm of our students made this an authentic opportunity to highlight the impact of student engagement through arts and culture.