Teachers Use Award-Winning Play to Target Social Issues

    TORONTO, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Helping elementary students and teachers
understand and cope with social issues such as child and family poverty is a
key goal of a tour of the award winning play Danny, King of the Basement,
sponsored by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
    The play will be presented in 70 host elementary schools in 16 Ontario
school districts and will be viewed by students from over 180 schools. The
ten-week tour, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education, is being
undertaken in partnership with Roseneath Theatre, whose high quality work is
seen and known across the country and around the world. This is the second
year in which ETFO has sponsored the Danny play tour to elementary schools
across Ontario.
    (The performance schedule of 'Danny, King of the Basement' is available
through the following link):
    "Last year, the Ministry asked ETFO to lead an initiative that would
focus on professional development for our members and support students and
schools facing challenging socio-economic circumstances," explained ETFO
President David Clegg. "The Danny play is a major component of this
initiative, which we have named The ETFO Education and Poverty Project."
    Danny, King of the Basement, tells the story of a young boy whose spirit
and imagination triumph over the challenges of homelessness and life in a
single-parent family. "The play also demonstrates that while teachers cannot
control the make-up of their student population, they can make a significant
impact on the lives and learning of their students," said Clegg.
    ETFO has also developed a professional development workshop entitled
'Beyond the Breakfast Program' that will be offered to members in the 16
school districts that will host a Danny performance. Objectives of the
workshop are to help educators learn more about the impact of poverty on
student learning and how they can make a difference in their own school
    One school in each of the 16 school districts has been selected to look
more deeply into society's attitudes and beliefs about people living in
poverty and the impact of poverty on education and student learning. These
'Danny Schools' were nominated and selected in consultation with the Ministry
of Education, the local ETFO president, and the director of education. Each
class in Danny Schools will delve into issues in the play through drama
workshops offered by the actors.
    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry  Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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