Algoma District School Board (ADSB) staff updated the Board of Trustees on their involvement with City Council’s Community Committee on Graffiti. The committee, chaired by city councilors Susan Myers and Steve Butland, was established to help generate positive solutions to combat unwanted graffiti within the city of Sault Ste. Marie and invited approximately 10-15 different community organizations/businesses to participate in ongoing meetings since January 2014.
One strategy extending from the meetings was to consider the value of public street art within key areas of the community which would establish pride and meaning to locations. ADSB contracted one of the participants of the committee, Cameron Dutchak of CTD Designs, to work with Parkland Public School in their outside Kindergarten play area. Frank Palumbo, Principal of Parkland indicated, “In recent years, we had seen a variety of graffiti tagging in the area. Our kindergarten students through their teacher, Sarah Missere and Early Childhood Educator Silvana Cicchello, gave Cameron some ideas for the area and he took it from there. It added a lot of life to the area and our Kindergarten students have a great play area now. And since this work was completed this summer, there has not been any graffiti within this area of the school. Cameron did a great job!”
In addition to the work with Cameron, through the work of the Graffiti committee, student representatives from all local high schools were invited to take part in a full afternoon discussion of strategies to bring back to their schools to encourage positive use of art within their schools. ADSB student representatives and Principals/Teachers from each local High School (White Pines, Superior Heights, Korah Collegiate and Algoma Education Connection) took part in the day. Our student leaders do a great job of sparking interest on many issues within our schools and providing us with strategic feedback.
The Board thanked City Council, specifically Susan Myers and Steve Butland for the invitation to participate with the committee and Cameron Dutchak for the murals he created at Parkland PS. It will hopefully be something the school can be proud of for years to come.
Susan Myers, Chair of Council’s Community Committee on Graffiti, on behalf of City Council, stated, “I would like to express thanks and congratulate the Algoma District School Board on this excellent initiative and modeling of a unique approach to what has become a community wide issue.”