Academy Hosts Workshop About Healthy Eating

students in classroom participating in presentation

Last Friday, the Academy’s Grade 11/12 Workplace English class and Food and Nutrition class took part in a workshop about healthy eating, and about how millions and millions of animals are being killed for the food that we eat. Tracey Timmins from the Educated Choices Program explained what we consider food and what we do not consider food, and the health risks of food.

Tracy talked about how animals were slowly being led into slaughterhouses to be killed for food. She also talked about how killing animals can have major impacts on the environment. “It’s important to learn where food comes from,” says Russell, an English student. “It made me feel more motivated to make changes in my daily life to save the environment.”

It is really important to learn these things so you know where your food is coming from. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat meat. You can have a balance with meat and things that are not meat. If you feel like you don’t want to eat meat, that is your choice, but this is something that you should know about. “I feel like we organized this, because students everywhere need to learn about animals, and why we need food every day to survive,” says Lucas, another English student. This presentation is helpful, because it teaches everyone how to live a better life and feel happier.

The presentation happened so that we could learn how to eat healthy and save the environment. It’s important because the presenter talked about how we should eat less meat and more healthy foods. “I think this topic is very important because we are killing animals for our food and it is also having an impact on our diet and health,” says Russell.

“I felt sad and angry at the same time,” says Lucas. “I felt like I had to take action by following Tracy’s presentation facts and details of making the world a better place.”

A student named Cole concluded, “The presentation impacted me, because even though animals do get killed for food, it’s wrong to just take a bunch of animals into a horrible place and just murder them. I also think that we should take a stand. Animals are nature. Without nature, there won’t be anymore animals to take care of. I realized when I was watching this presentation that I can choose to eat less meat and more plant-based things.”

– By the Grade 11/12 Workplace English class

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

Ontario Science Centre

On Tuesday April 9, the Academy’s two science classes made their way to the Ontario Science Centre to embark on a cosmic journey. The first part of the day gave students the opportunity to explore the space exhibit, where they investigated celestial objects they’d already learned about in the classroom, as well as celestial objects and phenomena they would be learning about after the trip. After the self guided tour of the space exhibit, students were treated to the IMAX movie Journey to Space, followed by a tour of the universe at the Centre’s planetarium. By the end of the adventure, it was the most jam packed outing to the Science Centre to date.

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

Upcoming Youth Exchange to New Brunswick

The above slideshow is from our last Youth Exchange to Haida Gwaii in 2017

Students at the YMCA Academy are preparing for the upcoming Youth Exchange that will be taking place from April 13th to 19th, and the 18th to the 24th of May.

In this youth exchange people from Tobique First Nations, New Brunswick will be coming for six days to Toronto to learn and experience a different sort of culture from their own. They will be guided around the city by the YMCA Academy’s students who will be later going to where they’re from just a month from now.

While they’re here we will be welcoming them with a feast, doing a city wide scavenger hunt on the TTC, doing volunteer work, taking them to Center Island and Niagara Falls, and just exploring the general city areas.

The goal of this Youth Exchange is to learn how other communities across Canada live and work in different ways, and the differences or similarities of two completely different environments, city and somewhat rural land. Some great outcomes of this experience include the new knowledge students gain about how the world works, and important life skills like knowing how to travel, how to interact with new people, and people who live in a different environment.

To find out more about this exchange look out for photos, blog posts, and posts on our social media pages!

Fresh & Fiery Academy Hot Sauce!

It came time to harvest produce from our school garden!! Our Grade 7/8 class came up with ideas about what we could make with all of our produce. We had onions, tomatoes, and LOTS of different types of hot and sweet peppers. We decided that we would make HOT SAUCE!

Together we harvested everything from the garden. We looked up a variety of different hot sauce recipes and decided to combine a few to make our very own special Academy hot sauce. Next, we put on safety goggles and gloves to protect ourselves from the super hot peppers. Carefully we cut up all of our produce and simmered them down for several hours. Once it was ready, we allowed it to cool down, and blended it smooth. Then we were left with a large pot of hot sauce…

We knew that we wanted to jar the sauce, but we had no idea how much hot sauce we had! Luckily we figured out that if we figured out the volume of the pot, we could figure out how much hot sauce we had. So that is exactly what we did! First we all estimated how many cups of hot sauce we predicted was in pot. Then we calculated the volume. We then researched what jars we wanted to use and how many milliliters they held.We divided the volume of the sauce by the size of the jar. We calculated how many packages of jars we would need to purchase, how much they would cost and how much tax would be added. Then we used Google Maps to map our route and see how much time it would take us to get to the store to purchase our jars.

Once the jars were purchased and filled, the next step was to choose a name and design a label. Students worked together to come up with ideas, vote and eventually decided on Fresh and Fiery. The class also decided to sell the hot sauce for $7 each or 2 for $12 and all profits will go back to the garden fund.

This was a really nice project to start the year with as this project required a significant amount of collaboration and we were just getting to know each other and the school community.

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