Annual Earth Day Cleanup

On Monday, April 24, as part of the Academy’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, the Geography and Leadership classes participated in our annual Earth Day cleanup. Students and staff cleaned the area around our building and our neighbouring park. This year’s focus was plastic pollution. Students learned about the issues that are created when plastic ends up in our waterways and oceans. Many students were surprised by the number of small plastic pieces that were found on the ground. These pieces of garbage would otherwise not be picked up, but would remain in the environment for a very long time. Students had the opportunity to see, first hand, how every action affects our local ecosystem. This cleanup was done in conjunction with the City of Toronto’s “Clean Toronto Together – Spring Cleanup”.

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

It’s Megathon time at the Academy again!

YMCA Academy students and staff promoting the upcoming Megathon event!

The Megathon is the kickoff event for our school’s annual initiative to promote the connection between mental wellness and physical activity. The focus is to raise our students’ awareness about the role physical activity plays in mental health. Being active reduces the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression — issues that impact many young people.

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 4th, our Academy crew of students, staff and friends will be rowing for 12 consecutive hours starting at 7am. Last year, 23 Academy students, staff and friends completed this challenge. Collectively they rowed a total of 203,451 metres and raised over $1200! Our goal is to surpass both of those numbers this year.

All fundraising from this event goes towards making YMCA programs financially accessible to everyone. Students at the Academy benefit directly from these funds.

Check out our Megathon page at the address below! Donations can be made through the same link.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

As part of the Academy’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the entire school participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup on Friday, September 23. We revisited a section of the Don River that we had cleaned up three years ago: the Don River shoreline between Pottery Road and Beechwood Drive.

The Shoreline Cleanup is a nationwide event. Our school joined over 50,000 other Canadians who participate in the event annually. As part of the cleanup we had to categorize and tally all items collected. We collected and itemized over 45 pounds of garbage and recycling that afternoon! The data we collected is added to a national research database that is used to assist with environmental assessments nationwide.

While on site, students also learned some history about the Don River and the importance of the river to the city of Toronto. Students were surprised to hear that the river, to which Chinook salmon have now returned, was once so polluted that it caught fire – not once, but twice! And many students commented that they did not know that such a “natural place” existed in downtown Toronto.

A special thank you to Brandon’s History classes for taking the lead on being our “data recording experts.”

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