Youth Outreach Program

Dr. Hugh Thomson, a Plastic Surgeon at the Sick Kids’ Hospital, was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary vision “to enable extraordinary lives for each tiny soul”. He established and inspired other carvers to join our Youth Outreach program more than a decade ago. Initially, schools invited OWCA to provide carving lessons for grade 7 and 8 students and, later, the program was extended to include children as young as four years old using soap and plastic knives. We have continued to expand to teaching carving for home schooling groups, church groups and other youth organizations.

During this time we have found the act of sharing our carving skills with youth to be highly beneficial to both them and ourselves. Most of our students have never attempted the art of carving. Even fewer have had the opportunity to participate in a classroom setting with the guidance of an experienced carver. Everywhere we go we are always amazed at the attention of the children, their concentration, and the happiness that is clearly evident in their eyes.

Our carvers design projects for the class where students learn to perceive art from a variety of intellectually challenging, aesthetically unique and often culturally significant perspectives. We have designed and organized special off-school carving projects. Our “Father and Son” program is intended to deepen the bond between parents and their children via the common, enjoyable activity of carving and provide a strong feeling of accomplishment and pride by doing great work together. This experience is a solid contributor to the students’ success and is transferable to other activities both in and out of the school.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn”

Phil Collins

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up”

Pablo Picasso