Academy Dance Committee Events

The YMCA Academy’s very own Dance Committee helped to organize two awesome dances so far this school year! We held a Winter Dance on December 19th. There was lots of candy, gingerbread house making and karaoke. Special catering was provided by alumni-run catering startup “Setonah Catering 2k19”. We held an Academy Alumni Group meeting before hand, so lots of alumni showed up to the dance which was great! The second dance was on February 13 with a Palentines (note: not Valentines) themed dance. We switched rooms from the auditorium to a smaller room where we could turn the lights off completely.

The set-up of the dance looked very cool! There were fairy lights and a black light that made everyone in the room wearing white glow! Somehow, skipping rope was made out of glow sticks and students (and teachers) attempted to jump rope. Pizza was provided as well as delicious snacks made by the fabulous Cooking Club. If this sounds like fun to you, please be in touch with Zoe or Dayna to join the Dance Committee or to attend a future dance. We are hoping to hold the next Academy dance in the Spring! We hope to see as many of you there as possible!

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

The Academy Show!

Again this year, the afternoon of the last day of classes in December features an exciting annual tradition: the Academy Show! Students were once again encouraged to pair up or collaborate in groups, and in total, twelve acts shared their passions and talents with the school community. From popular songs to dance performances to original spooky Christmas stories, and even a Shakespearan monologue, the performers’ courage and creativity was a delight to witness.

Our student MCs — Ali, Alex, and Dot — not only introduced the performers, but also kept us entertained with jokes and skits between acts. There was even a special performance by Brandon and Todd, who had been rehearsing their rendition of “I Do” from Bob’s Burgers, all week.

We hope that seeing their peers (and teachers) get up on the makeshift stage inspires even more students to sign up next year!

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

The Shoebox Project for Women

This November the YMCA Academy embraced the spirit of giving and ran its second annual Shoebox Project initiative.

Our school came together to first learn about the issue of homelessness in Toronto and Canada and then to do our part to support members of our community in need. In advisory groups, students brainstormed what gifts might help women feel special and devised a plan to purchase all of the items. Each group carefully decorated a shoebox, wrote a card with an inspiring message, and filled their box with thoughtful gifts.

The Shoebox Project for Women operates throughout Canada and the United States, delivering gift-filled shoeboxes to women in need. In Toronto the shoeboxes are distributed to women accessing a variety of services such as the YMCA Women’s Shelter, CAMH, Native Women’s Resource Centre, Covenant House etc. The aim of the project is to remind women that they have not been forgotten and that they are a valued and respected member of their community.

Once again this project raised some questions among our youth about homelessness and about the unique challenges faced by women and girls and provided excellent learning opportunities. It encouraged our students to foster empathy and to be engaged citizens. It also promoted collaboration among our students who had to work together to complete the various tasks and achieve their goals.

Our students and their families were very generous and even though we only have 8 advisory groups, we had enough donations to put together 19 boxes! Our shoeboxes contributed to the over 57,000 total boxes delivered in Canada, the USA and the UK for the 2019 holiday season. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this another successful project!

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

Annual Cedar Glen Trip

The 2019 voyage to Cedar Glen was one of the largest ones to date with 53 students making the trek up to the beloved outdoor education center. The maroon and navy squad buses made their way up on a beautiful and sunny Monday and arrived just after 11:00 am. After unpacking the buses, a quick welcome, and a lunch of meatball subs, staff and students heading towards Cedar Glen’s farm to give 64 pairs of helping hands to fulfil our yearly environmental stewardship duty. With glorious weather gracing our first day, the students and staff participated in fire building workshops, a skill needed for the culmination of the next day’s Academy Games, spent time in their advisory groups to increase group cohesion and solidarity, followed by a bit of free-time before dinner. The evening included the customary campfire and optional night hike to round of a great first day.

Day two was not so kind in terms of the weather, but was not as bad as what we have seen in past years. After breakfast, the two squads learned that their respective flags had been taken, with only a ransom note as a clue to what to do next. And thus began the morning’s first activity, a mystery game. After about 2 hours of sifting through clues and ciphers, the maroon squad ended up finding their flag first, shortly followed by the navy squad. After lunch, the second annual Academy games began with the maroon squad looking to defend its title. After all was said and done, the navy squad took the title away from maroon, who was disqualified on a technicality. Upon filling bellies with food, students enjoyed a bit of free time, followed by the evening’s programming of team challenges, followed by a Halloween and Cold Cuts themed dance party.

The last day was full of familiarity as students headed down into the valley after breakfast to partake in our traditional third day events. Groups alternated between animal survival, a game where staff and students simulate a forest ecosystem’s food chain, as well as archery and atlatl. With rain coming down during the last part of the activities, students walked back for a last lunch meal, after which we packed the buses and headed back to school, another successful trip in the record books.

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

Album One | Album Two | Album Three

The new Fresh & Fiery Academy Hot Sauce!

On November 11th, the Grade 7/8 class accepted the challenge to make a new and improved Academy Hot Sauce! Learning from last years’ experience and the reviews from our loyal customers the students made several changes to our secret recipe.

This year’s goal was to lower the acidity and vinegar taste of the hot sauce, while trying to keep its ability to last the same, some of the changes that were implemented include:

  • Changing from apple cider vinegar to regular vinegar
  • Lowering the vinegar amount
  • Adding carrots for sweetness

With several stations’ setup, the class made quick work of defrosting the frozen hot peppers which were harvested at the end of summer from out rooftop garden. We then proceeded to chop and sauté the peppers, while adding onions and tomatoes. Eventually boiling it all down and blending the fiery mix into our new and improved hot sauce mix, canned into mason jars and ready for sale for $7 each or 2 for $12 and all profits will go back to the garden fund.

This was a fun activity that had many curriculum connections. These connections were:

  • Math: Measurement and Volume
  • English: Blogs, read and writing the instructions
  • Science: PH levels
  • Business: Marketing, Brand management and Advertising

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