Overview

The UNITY School Program breaks down barriers between youths in their schools and communities. For this reason our organization uses student led discussions held at each partnering school to inform our programming content, tailoring our message to the most pressing concerns of that particular student body. Our programs are individualized for particular communities but there is commonality in our goals and messages due to our Artist Educator training program and operational planning.

The Healing

Power

Of Sharing Your

Story

Integrates elements of Character Education, Equity and other school board priorities

Teach youth to express their stress and anger through productive artistic outlets

Integrates UNITY artists’ personal stories to relate directly with youth issues

COMMUNITY
PROGRAM
Weekly Drop-In’s, Hub, Leadership Groups, Annual Festival & Artist Training.

The UNITY Community Program offers an open and positive environment for young people to come together and perform their art. This space aims to bring together people of all cultures through uniting different elements of Hip Hop culture. The reason we chose these art forms is because they are relevant and low cost making them accessible to youth in low-income communities.

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AFTER SCHOOL
PROGRAM
UNITY Day & After School Crew Program

The UNITY After School Program consists of assemblies, in-class workshops, hallway performances and after school clubs. The program offers intensive artistic and leadership-training for youth ages 12 to 18 empowering them to make positive life choices by engaging in artistic expression (beat boxing, graffiti art, break dancing and spoken word poetry).

 

The program is divided into two components that will address the need to improve the lives of youth at risk. All UNITY Programs are facilitated by UNITY Artist Educators who are driven by their passion for the cause and the arts.

  • Workshop style sessions dedicated to UNITY’s hip hop art forms that rotate on a weekly basis and address themes or issues that impact youth in their community.
  • Mentorship and further developing participants’ leadership skills while encouraging them to become role models in their communities and find employment.

UNITY DAY

This is a full day program that replaces school for grade 9’s and 10’s with an assembly, a lunchtime cypher and 8 in-class workshops. Top professional UNITY artists conduct the workshops teaching the art forms and life skills. It is UNITY’s many core offerings that empower youth to make positive life choices by engaging in artistic expression (break dancing, beat boxing, spoken word and graffiti art).

 

The goal of the UNITY Day programs is to introduce UNITY’s concepts and art forms to schools and students. Students learn a new art form and find role models that they can relate to. These programs help UNITY build relationships with students that translate into ongoing community support and extracurricular offerings.

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BOOK UNITY IN YOUR CITY

UNITY engages youth 10 to 18 by implementing school and community programs helping youth positively express their stress and develop skills for success.

Results & Evaluation

Survey Results

The following highlights were collected from students who participated in UNITY Day and the After School Program.

OVER
2,000
SURVEYS IN 27 SCHOOLS

ACROSS CANADA

94%

OF TEACHERS AGREED:

UNITY STAFF CHALLENGED STUDENTS IN THE WORKSHOP TO MOVE BEYOND THEIR LEVEL OF COMPETENCY”

74%

OF STUDENTS STATED

THEY HAVE MORE WAYS

TO EXPRESS THEIR STRESS

IN A POSITIVE WAY

65%

OF THE STUDENTS STATED

THEY FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE

SHARING THEIR ART FORM WITH

THEIR COMMUNITY

65%

OF THE STUDENTS STATED

THEY FELT MORE CONFIDENT


Program Evaluation

UNITY conducted a literature review, which investigated the current research surrounding arts-based after-school programs aimed at at-risk secondary school students. The project was informed by a number of different data sources, including a literature review and analyzing programmatic elements to better understand the history and philosophy behind UNITY and how the program is currently being implemented.

 

The following 13 best practices emerged from the literature surrounding arts-based after-school programs in a secondary school setting:

BEST PRACTICES

01

The program has a clear mission and is organized around achieving those goals.

06

The program has a flexible curriculum and has content that is engaging and meaningful to students.

10

The program has a self-efficacy component.

02

The program has a safe, positive and healthy climate.

07

The program is rooted in educational theory and uses the arts as an avenue for improving other competencies.

11

The program includes stress management training.

03

The program recruits a diverse mix of youth to participate.

08

The program has a leadership development component.

12

The program establishes connections with families of participants, the school and the community.

04

The program should address barriers to participation.

09

The program has an anger management component.

13

The program practices frequent and ongoing evaluation.

05

The program hires, trains and retains high quality staff.

THESE BEST PRACTICES WERE COMPARED WITH UNITY’S

CURRENT AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMMING.

IT WAS DETERMINED THAT UNITY HAS IMPLEMENTED ALL

BUT ONE OF THE 13 BEST PRACTICES.

Research Credentials:
Name: D. Cameron Hauseman
Status: Ph.D. Candidate
Affiliation: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / University of Toronto (OISE/UT)

For more information, check out MHIN
http://mhinnovation.net/innovations/unity#.VX8CvVVVikp

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