Turning The Page: The Turntemple After School Program

“When you’re 15 years old, you’re too old to have a babysitter, yet you have a few hours unsupervised before your parents get home from work. This is the timeframe when lots of risky behaviour goes down: sex, drugs, violence, crime. Imagine the Turntemple pulling up to the high school parking lot, serving as a pop-up afterschool program, providing fine arts activities with an urban edge to youth at risk”

-Peter Poole, founder

The Turntemple started two years ago as a solar powered DJ unit that hosted workshops through Parks & Recreation Nanaimo. It was after a summer of setting up and tearing down extensive amounts of gear that it was decided to find a more efficient way of travelling with all the equipment. This was the beginning of the present day 26 ft. U-haul van that has been insulated and retrofitted to create a mobile classroom. With  a exterior grafitti wall, 12 sets of turntables, and walls lined with vinyl records; every square inch of The Turntemple is dedicated to the preservation of urban art and music culture.

The Turntemple After-School Program is a place for youth to grow and learn an appreciation for music and the arts. The idea is to utilize Peters skills as a DJ, workshop facilitator, and youth worker to pioneer an after-school program tailored for youth-at-risk.

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Youth crime is at its peak between the hours of 3pm and 6pm, the time when youth are most frequently left to their own devices. The Turntemple offers itself as a space for youth to come and learn about music and art with an urban edge, in an environment that fosters resiliency and offers teens the ability to learn through music and art. Through music, opportunities for self-expression and confidence building can be fostered and youth can create tools for effectively navigating their world. The urban edge to the programming allows for a setting that youth can try out an array of activities that may not be traditionally offered in after-school programs.

The founder of The Turntemple, DJ Allgood is a force to be reckoned with. Starting his DJ career at 16 he has committed himself to  growing as an artist. In 2009 DJ Allgood was a guest workshop facilitator at Jam Master Jays scratch Academy in Brooklyn, New York. In 2015 Allgood was the winner of the Western Final DMC Championships and travelled to Toronto to represent Vancouver Island in the National Championships.

To date the Turntemple After-School Program has facilitated several after-school sessions at two local high schools : Ballenas Secondary School and John Barsby Community School to very positive responses.

On March 25, 2016, you can help raise funds for this incredible program AND boogie on down! Get your tickets now for ‘Do The Thing‘ – an amazing event featuring Slynk, Illvis Freshly, Sammy Senior and Wax Organix at the Cambie in Nanaimo!