Griffith teens find meaning with art

A GROUP of Griffith teens who had never even picked up a welding rod four months ago are now creating auction worthy artwork.

Make It Happen, which is a joint collaborative project between Marian Catholic College, TAFE and Western Riverina Community College (WRCC), allowed 13 year 9 boys to gain confidence and know-how.

The sculptural works will be part of an exhibition and auction on Thursday at WRCC from 6pm.

Marian Catholic College's Libby Trembath called the project brilliant.

"This project has been one of the most rewarding ones I have been involved in as a teacher the growth in the boys over the short period is awesome on so many levels makes my heart sing," she said.

"The boys have been on bus trips to places like Lockhart and Morundah, shared "smoko" with the blokes at the men's shed, completed their white card and worked brilliantly as an unlikely team to come up with some amazing artworks.

"This program came about as the result of a proposal put in for youth engagement in Education and Training funding. The proposal was to promote in boys at risk of leaving school early an autonomous, self-regulatory and collaborative learning context around a problem based learning context (recycled materials into garden art) approach incorporating real life work simulations.

"It aimed to develop communication skills, literacy and numeracy skills, employability skills, technical skills and creativity in real world situations."

Mrs Trembath said, with the help of Graham Tarbit from TAFE, artist Hape Kiddle, Jenny Ellis and Sue Reynolds from WRCC and Marian teachers Jamie Gibbs and Kevin Salton, who have had lent a hand in the technical department, the program had been an outstanding success, "growing" the young men in many ways.

"It has been a real pulling together of resources," Mrs Trembath said.

"The expertise of these trainers and their ability to relate to the students has seen an amazing level of skill development, along with individual decision making and initiative within a safe working environment.

The exhibition and auction is open to the public, with funds raised going into a school account that will help fund a similar project for a group of kids next year.

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