Tokens 4 Change: Youth Helping Youth

Once again YMCA Academy students participated in Tokens 4 Change, an annual event which raises funds for Youth Without Shelter, a youth shelter in Etobicoke that gives a home to 1,000 homeless youth a year.

In January, the entire school participated in a workshop led by Youth Without Shelter, that opened their eyes to the reality of youth homelessness. They learned about the diverse reasons that youth find themselves without a home. Many were surprised to realize that you cannot tell if someone is homeless from their appearance. This workshop had a lasting impact on students and inspired many of them to sign up for Tokens 4 Change.

On Friday, February 3rd, 10 Academy students canvassed at St. Andrew’s station, covering the busy 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift. They were loud, energetic and creative in their messaging, encouraging commuters to reach into their pockets and make change for Toronto’s homeless youth. Thanks to their help St. Andrew’s was the second high producing station this year. This one day event raised almost $100,000 which will go directly to supporting youth transit costs and fund essential, empowering programs at Youth Without Shelter.

The Cookbooks are Ready for Sale!

The YMCA Academy cookbooks have been printed, packaged and are ready for sale! The idea of the cookbook came from the Cooking Club which meets each week to create delicious and nutritious foods. The club has gathered their favourite recipes and compiled them with recipes submitted by students, staff and friends of the Academy. All together there are 115 recipes spiral-bound together with a custom cover of Cooking Club photos.

These cookbooks make wonderful holiday gifts and are a great way to support the Academy. The books cost $20 for one or two for $30 and all of the proceeds will go to programs that benefit our students, such as Cooking club and the YMCA Youth Exchange. If you would like to place an order, please e-mail Katie Clay at

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this project and to those who have purchased cookbooks. Your ongoing support of the Academy is so appreciated!


Cooking Club is at it again!

The YMCA’s afterschool Cooking Club started off the new school year by making a delicious (and healthier version) of a 7-layer dip. Students worked together to prepare the ingredients for the 7 layers and assembled their own individual dip in a plastic cup. A great idea for parties and it avoids double dipping!

Students in the club meet once a week to work on their culinary skills, learn new recipes, and have fun with their peers. There is a focus on making healthy choices and students learn about the nutritional value of foods and are encouraged to try new things.

This year the club will be putting together a cookbook which will include recipes contributed by staff and students of the Academy, as well as recipes made by the club. The cookbook will be sold to fundraise for programs at the school including the Cooking Club. Stay tuned for more information about how you can support the YMCA Academy and take home your very own cookbook!

Math Students Apply their Skills!

The YMCA Academy’s Grade 11 College Math class took to the park to apply their skills to real world problems. After studying trigonometry in class and using technology to verify its laws, students were ready to see its applications firsthand.

Trigonometry has been used through the ages to solve problems in fields such as astronomy, land-surveying, navigation, architecture and more! In our class the students had to find the height of a lamp post, using a device called a clinometer which measures the angle of elevation, and determine the width of a pond that we created with chalk. Students worked together to take required measurements, determine which trigonometric formula to use and solve the problem.

Cooking up a storm!

Do you like cooking? Every Wednesday there is a cooking club after school which starts at 3:45pm until about 5:00pm. It is happening in the orange room and sometimes in the childcare kitchen. It is open to all the students from the Academy and it is organized by Chef Katie C. In cooking club we learn how to shop, chop, grate, bake, and clean up the kitchen. It is a lot of fun to cook and eat with your friends. Just make sure that you wash your hands first before touching food!

By Andrea B. (Academy student)

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