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Students at Unionville High School Create Portraits for Vulnerable Youth
News Release
Students at Unionville High School Create Portraits for Vulnerable Youth
Unionville Art Class.jpg
Markham – A group of children in Haiti will soon receive their own portrait painted by Grade 10 students in the Unionville Arts program. 

The students will create and donate portraits to 28 youth from Haiti who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, the loss of their parents or extreme poverty. Sometimes youth in challenging situations have few personal items and the portraits will provide the children with meaningful mementos of their youth. 

Unionville H.S. is one of five Ontario schools participating in the Memory Project this year. The project allows students to learn kindness and global awareness while enhancing their portraiture skills.

The students from the Arts Unionville program have an intensive art focus for their four years of high school and audition in their grade 8 year to be part of the program. This time, the students want to use their advanced art skills to participate in the Memory Project. 

“This year, I really wanted to broaden my search for subjects and challenge my students to connect with those that may not live a life as privileged as their own,” said Wendy Gardham, Unionville H.S. visual arts teacher. “As part of the Arts Unionville program the students have already learned the proportions of the face and have completed a 3D clay bust sculpture and the intent of the current portraiture project is to enhance their skill with watercolour techniques. I felt the collaboration with the Memory Project would be one of the best ways to showcase their skills while giving back.” 

Ms. Gardham estimates it will take the average student about 10 hours to complete each portrait and her class intends to mail off the portraits on March 29.  

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 124,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website​ and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.

Photos available upon request

​For more information contact:

Wendy Gardham
Teacher, Unionville High School
(905) 479-2787​

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