2017 Valentine’s Dance!

The YMCA Academy Leadership and Peer Support class hosted a Valentine’s Day dance on February 14th, 2017. The tickets were sold at the price of $5 during lunch from Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and also at the dance (if you were last minute). Our Leadership and Peer Support class worked to plan and setup the dance for about a week and half. Students requested many songs to be played at the dance and our very own DJ B tried his best to get each student’s request to be played in one long list.

At the Valentine’s Day dance students had fun by dancing, hanging out with friends, eating nice treats made by our very own Cooking Club runned by Katie Clay. All the money that was raised by the Leadership and Peer Support class will be going to the YMCA Youth Exchange Program. The amount raised was a whopping $172.95. All in all the dance was a successful night and everyone in the dance seemed to enjoy their stay. For people that think this might be the last dance. Think not. There will be more dances to be hosted in the near future!

Thank you to Central YMCA for letting us book the auditorium!

Written by: Mahadir & Bailey

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Review of ‘Matilda’ written by the Integrated Arts Class

Students attend the musical 'Matilda' at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.

Siobhan’s Integrated Arts Class went to see the musical ‘Matilda’ at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.  It was a sunny day and we walked down Yonge Street. We were excited, and we walked into the theatre and we were amazed and astounded at how beautiful the theatre was! We took our seats and waited for the play to start. The lights went down and the show began with a big musical number and we laughed throughout the whole show. The little girl named Jaimie, who played Matilda, was awesome! There was singing, dancing, storytelling, gymnastics, a film, emotional parts, magic, and many more things to see. Big thanks to Peggy and Gail, our volunteers for the day.

Reviews from the class:

“10 stars out of 5” said Lucas
“It was alright” said Kathleen
“It was hilarious” said Kyle
“It was funny” said Adrian
“It was really good” said Sophia
“It was cute” said Lita
“It was wonderful” said Patricia
“It was a great show” said Ben
“It was beautiful” said Taylor
“It was unique” said Jake H.
“It was spectacular” said Cole
“It was cool” said Sebastian

Class hashtags!

#ymcaouting #ymcareallylikedthatplay #Matildawasgreattosee

Meet the Academy’s Newest Staff

On the first day of school excited students got to meet the newest members of our teaching staff. The YMCA Academy is excited to introduce our four new teachers to the community.

Dayna Dann:
I’ve recently graduated from OISE with a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education with a focus on special education. This degree followed my sociology degree from Western. I have worked for the ymca in various capacities for the last 8 years – primarily as the director for the ymca toronto island day camp. I will be teaching GLE – learning strategies and Working with infants and children.

Luka Ilic:
My name is Luka and I am currently teaching Travel and Tourism, Personal Life Management, and Learning Strategies. Prior to joining the YMCA Academy, I taught Humanities for two years in London, England. I enjoy playing sports such as soccer and volleyball, watching TV shows, keeping up with current events, and generally leading an active and healthy lifestyle. It is an absolute pleasure being a member of the YMCA Academy and I look forward to a fun and successful school year!

Matt Moir:
I have been teaching History and English for more than 8 years. I taught in several schools in the GTA, as well as schools in Australia, England, China and a First Nations community in northern Ontario. I’ve also worked as a reporter for CBC and CTV News.

Amanda Wyman:
I graduated from The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Art and a major in photography. I spent a few years with TIFF, mentoring a committee of teens who programmed film-centric, youth-oriented events, and coordinating The TIFF Kids Festival. I earned my Bachelor of Education from OISE. The following year, I taught Art, Math and English to youth with learning disabilities at The Study Academy, and I bring a wealth of visual art experience to the Study. I work towards building community in my classrooms, and fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment in my students. I especially love riding my bicycle, making art at home, and spending time with my two cats.

Find out more about the Academy’s “Back to School” experience at: A big first day at The YMCA Academy

For more back to school tips and tricks check out the YMCA of Greater Toronto blog post series: Fall Into Place


MPP Peter Milczyn visits Civics class

Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Peter Milczyn paid a visit to the Academy’s Civics and Careers classes to share the story of his journey in politics, and inspire students to get involved in their local communities. MPP Milczyn began his career in the private sector after graduating from the University of Toronto’s architecture program, but his passion for urban issues led him to a life in politics. He talked to students about the experience of running in elections — first as a member of Etobicoke and later Toronto City Council, and then as a member of Ontario’s government.

Interacting with guests like MPP Milczyn is a vital and exciting learning experience for our students. Through these visits, Academy students strengthen connections between their lessons and the real world, and derive inspiration to take their work to the next level.

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Toronto musicians visit Academy music class

This semester, for the first time, The YMCA Academy is offering a music class. As part of the learning experience, the class welcomed two special guests in the first weeks of the semester: singer-songwriters Luke Correia-Damude from the band PEERS, and Graydon James of the group The Young Novelists.

Luke shared with students his approach to writing songs, and demonstrated how a song starts as an idea and builds into a finished product. “I liked the songs he sang,” says Lita, a student in the class. “They were real.” Ben, another music student at the Academy, agrees. “I liked the music that he made,” he says. “I’d never seen that before.”

Graydon focused his visit on the experience of being a live performer. He discussed stagecraft, and explained how musicians set up tours and make a living through their art. “He was a pretty cool guy to have,” Ben says. “I didn’t know you can travel to different cities. This was new for me.” Lita adds, “I just liked hearing stories about how he toured.”

Inviting people from the community into our school is a vital way to provide authentic, experiential learning opportunities. This is especially important in the arts; hearing a wide variety of creative voices helps our students shape their craft and discover their inner artist.

Check out the rest the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page!