The MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie together with COPE Service Dogs will provide a hands-on workshop about art for Nantyr Shores Secondary School students.

MacLaren Van Go Access team artist instructors will lead the art workshop. With the Canines in the Classroom program, students will have a chance to learn creating collage and different painting techniques.

The service dogs will help serve as an inspiration in creating the student’s artworks. The outcome will be named as Paw-fect Portraits from the VanGo Access workshop.

Until March 31, the artworks will be a community exhibition which will be displayed at the Maclaren’s Rotary Education Centre.

The students are excited about the VanGo project. They are also very proud of their artwork. One student mentioned that it was fun to learn about different techniques. We learned how to transfer a shaded back of a picture into another page. Another one said that it was cool to see how they successfully represented their dog partners through art.

Through COPE, Service dogs are provided to help people with disabilities. Facility dogs, on the other hand, are provided to help organizations like the Child Advocacy Centre and Hospice Simcoe perform therapeutic practices.

Some of the dog’s training is held in Canines in the Classroom. It’s a high school programme which aims to help challenged students earn points by learning how to train dogs from COPE.

The deep learning process help students prepare for work in the modern world. It also gives positive effects on the student’s mental health.

One of the student-dog training caller Reading Buddy is a programme where partner student and dog go to elementary schools to build and improve literacy skills. These are done by reading to a canine partner.

VanGo is a signature education programme in schools. VanGo Access is an extension of it. With this, visual arts workshops are provided to community groups which can’t have access to these type of opportunities.

The MacLaren likes to show gratitude to Jane Boake, the founder of COPE Service Dogs as well as Canines in the Classroom. She also teaches special education at Nantyr Shores Secondary School. They also would like to give special thanks to the youth who actively participated in the VanGo access project.

Special thanks to MacLaren Art Centre for this Paw-fect project.

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