Visiting the Toronto Humane Society

The YMCA Academy aims to develop programming based on students’ interests and needs. Among our students there are currently lots of animal lovers and many interested in pursuing animal related careers. This lead staff to plan a trip to the Toronto Humane Society so students could find out more about the possibilities that lie ahead.

All three Learning Strategies classes came together for this trip based on the curriculum link to career exploration. Students learned about how the Humane Society helps care for homeless animals and were led on a tour of the facility. They got to meet lots of adorable cats, dogs, and small pets and were excited to learn their names, take pictures and interact with them from the other side of the glass. Students also had a chance for some up close animal visits inside the education center where puppies were brought in to play.

The primary objective of the trip was for students to learn about animal related careers and how they might one day get to work with animals. We heard from two Humane Society employees, a dog trainer and the manager of shelter care, about their jobs and how they got where they are. They told us that to do their jobs it takes a love of animals, a lot of dedication, and strong people skills. One important take home point for the students was that related experience, for example volunteering or dog walking, is really valuable when trying to get an animal care job. This information points many students towards the next step in a pathway to their dream job.

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

Academy partners with Digital Literacy + Coding pilot!

The YMCA Academy has always leveraged computer technology in the service of student learning. Laptop-based assistive technologies are at the heart of the supports we provide to a wide range of learning styles. Thus, when we had an opportunity to partner with the Brookfield Institute in their “Digital Literacy + Coding” pilot project“, we jumped at the chance.

The Academy has committed to running eight 12-week sessions to introduce youth in the GTA to the logic and practice of coding. We see this pilot as providing our students with additional expertise and knowledge that will be hugely important in the job markets they will face when they graduate. These sessions are free of charge, and laptops are provided.

By introducing Digital Literacy + Coding to a wide variety of youth, including youth who are underrepresented in this growing field, The Academy hopes to help shape the future.

The program will introduce youth to a variety of activities leading to a final project that each participant has chosen. They will be “remixing” websites, games, and other web-based applications to get a better understanding of how they work, and how elements of the code affect the final product.

The Digital Literacy + Coding pilot will focus on several languages, particularly HTML, CSS, and a brief introduction to JavaScript. These are the languages that are the backbone to complex and engaging web pages. This program is an excellent way to help youth begin the journey of sparking passion for STEM-related fields by learning the basics of the coding languages of the web.

 

Food and Nutrition Class Potluck

On Friday, March 2nd, The Food and Nutrition Class had a potluck. We had this potluck so we could learn how to cook and bring in our meals to show to the class. The whole class was there and some of the other teachers outside of class like Dayna, Zoe, Luka, Andres, Zee and others came to try our food. Everyone enjoyed it. It was exciting to see what other people had made and to try everyone’s meals and to bond as a class and watch a movie while eating. Some of the meals that people brought in included:

  • Mac And Cheese (Rosie)
  • Crusty French Bread (Charlotte)
  • Pizza Rolls (Owen)
  • Pizza (Logan)
  • Grilled Cheese with Ham (Adrian)
  • Beef Stir-fry and rice (Spencer)
  • Addie brought some delicious mac and cheese It Was LIIIIIIT.

After having a huge buffet, I think everyone was stuffed at the end! There were leftovers and we ate them at home over the weekend. We are really looking forward to the next potluck, in April. Yum yum!

Blog post written by: Students of the Food and Nutrition Class

Megathon: Academy Rowing Crew’s 24-hour row!

The school is abuzz with this year’s MEGA Megathon challenge…

It’s just 2 days until the Academy Rowing Crew’s 24-hour row!

We’ll be rowing from 5pm on Friday, March 2nd through to 5pm on Saturday, March 3rd. We currently have 32 students, staff, alumni, families, volunteers and friends signed up to participate with our team!

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.

Last year, we raised over $1300 and our goal is to surpass that number 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 – Donations can be made here!

If you wish to row and haven’t signed up already, there’s still time to join our crew – email Colleen at cwhelan@ymcaacademy.org

The United Nations at the Academy

After completing three previous Insight Global Education topics and simulations, the time came for our final and most exciting one of them all. The United Nations (UN) simulation. This simulation models a United Nations (UN) meeting in which the members (students) reduce the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to seven goals. Students were divided into delegates from fifteen countries and worked together to create the new seven goals, based on the past SDGs and MDGs.

The UN created the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These seventeen goals were developed to improve the lives of people and the planet by 2030. Both the MDGs and the SDGs reflect current global challenges and outline potential solutions to solving these problems.

Students developed an understanding of the overarching discourse in global development and recognized the complexities and strategies that are necessary when creating and implementing global development regimes. Student delegations worked with one another in backroom style “wheeling and dealings” in order to ensure the seven best SDGs were passed at the end of the simulation.

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