Founded in 2007, The Suspicious Fish Creative Literacy and Arts program is a registered non-profit organization, which currently operates out of Verdun Elementary School. The program is built on a foundation of encouragement, where the students are given the opportunity to express themselves through creative writing mediums such as the writing and developing of short stories, script writing and film production. While objectively guiding the growth of the students’ abilities in writing and exploring their creative talents, the program focuses on skills that go beyond the scope of a classroom.
The program provides a safe space for the students to write about topics personal to him or her, meanwhile fostering a setting where each student’s process of discovering their voice can become unique and personal. Each student gains a sense for their own narrative as they deal with the multitude of challenges that come with growing up in an inner city environment.
As inner city schools have looked to engage their students from a socio-emotional perspective over the last few years, Suspicious Fish continues to play a key role in creating a platform for progress in that. In addition to focusing on socio-emotional development and literacy skills, the program also aims to strengthen community by encouraging the approach that stories have an impact when it comes to sharing the wide range of backgrounds and experiences that our members bring to the program. Through this, we also believe that stories do have an impact when it comes to influencing the policies that directly impact community. The program currently targets elementary school students and averages roughly 40-45 students in the class each year. As the program continues to grow, we plan to integrate community members of all ages and backgrounds.