After-school program back in "fall" swing

After-School Programs in “Fall” Swing!

Teamwork, Trustworthiness and Problem-solving

Over the past few weeks, our Youth LED kids have been learning about important leadership habits and qualities that they can use to achieve success. The nine-week program covers many important aspects through a fun variety of activities. This past week the students at Valley Park Middle School were developing teamwork and problem-solving skills and learning about the importance of trustworthiness. Check out the pics!

Getting Active After-School

Recent studies highlight the importance of getting kids active and into the outdoors to reap many physical and mental health benefits and improve attainment at school.  BLAST Gateway has been making the most of the beautiful fall weather by playing soccer and developing their physical literacy skills outdoors. Check out the pics of the fun!


Cooking Activities help kids develop important life-skills

All those active games help our kids work up quite the appetite! Last week, kids at BLAST had quite the treat when they learned how to bake delicious cupcakes! Take a look at the pics of kids practising teamwork and sharing as they worked together to bake a delicious batch of tasty goodness!

Celebrating Canada150 with some Bannock

Over at BLAST Gateway, kids also took part in a cooking activity but this time they were learning about the traditional Canadian bread – Bannock! At Moorelands Camp, kids learn to make bannock on cookouts and campouts so we brought a little camp to Moorelands BLAST and the kids got to recreate a Canadian campout after-school!
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Sabina - youth led advocate


Sabina is 13 years old and, as we all know, being 13 can be tough. Before she came to Moorelands Youth LED (Lead Excel Demonstrate) program, she was “a shy type of person”. Sabina never put herself forward and didn’t have the confidence to speak up in class. She also struggled to make friends and as a result hated going to school. Things got so bad in fact that she began making up excuses to stay at home telling her mother she was sick.

When her grades suffered, her guidance counsellor referred her to Moorelands Youth LED program. It was the beginning of a new chapter in Sabina’s life.

At Youth LED, she learned the leadership skills that would help her overcome her shyness. Interacting with her fellow participants, she built skills like communication that she’d lacked before. As her strength in teamwork grew, so she grew in confidence. Sabina began to realise that, in fact, she was a pretty awesome group leader and that her input was valuable.

With the encouragement of her Youth LED leaders, Sabina applied the skills she had learned in Youth LED to her school life.  She started raising her hand and participating in class. Her grades improved and she felt more at ease with her classmates. Now Sabina is a Youth LED advocate and tells all her new friends to join the program too.

It costs $740 to send Sabina to Youth LED for a semester including an end of program leadership retreat. This year will be Sabina’s second year, make a donation now to help her continue her growth.


help kids by supporting Moorelands after school programs

How You Can Help Kids By Supporting Moorelands After-school Programs

After-school Program = Setting Kids Up For Success

Read on to learn what can be achieved this fall at Moorelands After-school programs with your help!

after-school programs - blast boy reading

Improved Academic Results

Kids from low-income neighbourhoods are falling behind their middle-class peers – reports confirm economic disparities result in academic disparities. At BLAST after-school program, super fun activities teach kids, grades 1-6, vital skills needed to succeed in school… PLUS we offer homework help every day. Amira, a BLAST parent told us: “The wide-ranging activities kids do help them learn and understand different things. That includes science, arts and crafts and reading.”

after-school program - youth LED kids

Benefits to Mental Health

Kids affected by poverty are 3X more likely to experience isolation and depression. 78% of Youth LED after-school program kids, grades 7 and 8, told us that Youth LED helped them feel safer, more confident and make new friends.  Maia, told us: “Moorelands has taught me about being safe and being confident and trying my best.”



Reduced Behaviour Issues

Kids growing up in poverty are more likely to engage in/are at-risk of delinquent behaviours. You can affect these behaviours by supporting any Moorelands after-school program. All Moorelands kids and youth develop leadership skills Daveed, age 15 and enrolled in VITAL, told us: “Something I learned that will help me outside of Moorelands is being respectful. Even if someone is mean to someone else, I now have ways to diffuse the situation and get them to stop.”

after-school program and heatlthy kids

Healthier, More Active Kids

There’s a direct correlation between neighbourhood income and kids being at risk of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. 94% of parents reported that they felt the BLAST program encouraged their child to be more active. Rupal, a BLAST parent told us: “Now my kids are more self-confident and more active… It’s safe, affordable and fun!”


after-school program - smiling girl at BLAST

A Safe Space to Learn & Grow

Toronto is ‘Canada’s child poverty capital.’ Many working parents cannot afford childcare after school. All spots at Moorelands After-school programs are subsidized and geared to income. Leisha, a BLAST parent, told us: “The program helps me to make my crazy schedule easier. Being a full-time working mom I do appreciate all your help. Knowing Moorelands is there for my kids to ensure their safety and encourage them to be better kids – it means we will all have a stronger future, together.”

You can help kids achieve these positive outcomes by supporting our after-school programs today.

Donate online here: Donate

Leadership Retreat 2017

Moorelands’ Leadership Retreat 2017

Young Leaders Show Off Their Skills at the Leadership Retreat

Each summer, the culmination of both of Moorelands’ after-school leadership programs (Youth LED and VITAL) is a leadership retreat.

While each of these programs is different – Youth LED helps middle school children at Valley Park develop a firm foundation of leadership skills while VITAL is focused on giving high schoolers at Marc Garneau Collegiate both leadership training and volunteer experience – participants from both programs are invited to take part in the retreat.

The purpose of the leadership retreat is to celebrate participants’ learning, to give them an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned at their programs and to give space for a final debrief of the Moorelands Leadership Habits and Qualities they have learned.

Check out the pictures of out youth leaders having an amazing time enjoying the outdoors and the Moorelands community of which they have become an integral part!


How to Write the Best Resume

Resume Writing for Beginners

Creating a resume can be a daunting task, but it is a necessary step towards employment. Moorelands youth leadership programs, Youth LED and VITAL are designed to give kids the skills they need to succeed in the future. As our programs have ended for the year and some of our participants will be looking for jobs we’ve created an outline taking you through what it takes to create a good resume.


Before you start creating the perfect resume thoroughly go over the job posting taking note of keywords in the job description. You can also do some additional research by going to the employer’s website and learning about the business; how it operates, who are their employees, who it serves, and what are its services. This information will become useful when tailoring your resume.


The content of your resume is the most important part. Your goal is to tailor the content of your resume to prove that you are qualified for the job.


Name and Contact Information

Your name and contact information (email, phone number, address, and LinkedIn) should be at the very top of the page. It should be the first words that the recruiter reads, so they know who this resume belongs to and how to contact them.



Including your education is necessary on a resume, especially for jobs that look for applicants with a particular academic background.



This is where you briefly introduce yourself, what job you are applying too, your skills, your experience and how they apply and qualify you for the job. When writing this section, refer to the job posting, making sure to include the skills, qualifications, and objectives that the posting mentions.



Use this section to show how your personal knowledge ties into the job posting. For example, for the job of a Communications Associate including proficiency in Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, etc., in the skills sections is a good idea.


*Note that you don’t need both a Qualifications and Skills section. You can have one or you can combine the two. It all depends on how you have chosen to tailor your resume.


Work Experience

This is the section where you summarize the most important and relevant information from your work history. For this section make sure to keep your work experience relevant to the job you are applying for. In bullet points summarize your position, responsibilities, and achievements in that position. When describing your position, responsibilities and achievements make sure to tie it back to the job posting or additional information about the business. If you lack work experience, you can also use relevant volunteer experience.



This is another optional section or section that can be combined with another. In this section, you list or summarize your achievements. For example listing that you won an essay contest would catch the eye of a recruiter looking to hire a Communications Associate with a strong writing background.


Relevant Courses

While not a necessary section, if you are a student, recent grad, are taking or have taken a course that can apply to the job, then you can add that to your resume.



You do not need to add your references until you are asked by a recruiter.



Lastly, how you word your content is important, so here are some resources to help you.


100 Great Resume Words 


Forbes- Best and Worst Words to Use on a Resume


When formatting a resume readability is key. According to Business Insider, recruiters only spend about six seconds looking at a resume so utilizing white space, sectioning and formatting your resume will increase readability and allow for easy navigation.


White Space

You don’t have to fill up the whole page, make sure to strategically leave spaces to section out your content.



Just as you have outlined your content earlier make sure to section it out accordingly by using white space, line breaks, headings, different fonts and text styling such as bold and italics. This makes your resume look neat, organized and increases readability.



Keep your resume short; your resume should be no more than one or two pages. Here are some resume samples from and resume Templates for Microsoft Word to help with formatting.

In the competitive workforce having well-crafted resume can give you the extra edge needed to get your dream job.


Written by Vimbai Chikoore

Register online for programs

Apply Online for Programs

Apply for Online for Programs at Moorelands today!

Apply online for programs by clicking on the APPLY button beneath the program you are interested in below. Moorelands’ programs offer a wide variety of activities and learning experiences.

Moorelands CampBLAST (Budding Leaders After-School Teams), Youth LED (Lead Excel Demonstrate) and VITAL (Volunteers in Training as Leaders) help participants build life and leadership skills, increase their sense of self-worth, develop character, and establish positive relationships with peers and adults.

Apply for BLAST after-school

Register for After-School Programs

At BLAST, children learn and practice new skills and character qualities while engaged in play. BLAST emphasizes cooperation, self-control, teamwork and leadership. Our aim is to help build life skills that will serve these children well as they grow into young adults.

Apply for Moorelands Camp

Register for programs: wilderness camp

Moorelands Camp is a week away from the city in a safe, caring, positive environment focusing on new friends, character and leadership development and FUN. Swimming, canoeing, kayaking, arts & crafts, archery, sports and ropes are some of the many activities.

Apply for Youth LED at Valley Park Middle School

Register for After-School Programs

Moorelands Youth LED at Valley Park Middle School helps youth develop their leadership and life skills through fun, hands-on experiences. Participants choose either a first semester or second semester 9-session program. The elements of effective leadership are explored and practiced through varied activities

Apply for VITAL (Volunteers) at Marc Garneau C.I.

Register for After-School Programs

Registration is closed for 2016-2017.

VITAL is a hands-on program, designed to help youth master the skills and character qualities they need to become leaders in their community. After a series of workshops exploring the 3 styles of leadership and the tools required to be a great leader, youth spend the majority of program volunteering back in their community.

Leadership success: Youth LED kids pose with their certificates

Youth LED Kids on a Path to Leadership Success

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F. Kennedy

Youth LED Kids Complete Semester One

Leadership success: overcoming the Jenga challenge
Leadership success: overcoming the Jenga challenge

On Tuesday, our Youth LED participants completed their nine-week leadership program demonstrating fantastic leadership success!  We’re so proud of what they have achieved. Through a variety of fun activities, they’ve developed and honed a wealth of skills and character qualities that will give them the strategies they need for leadership success outside of Moorelands: how to set goals, the benefits of being proactive, and the importance of teamwork and communication skills.

Leadership Success

Through all the challenges that come with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, our young leaders have shown great resilience and their confidence has grown by great leaps and bounds. Through a series of debriefing activities, our Youth LED kids have learned to identify the Moorelands’ leadership habits in their own lives as they solve problems and work together. We’re so impressed by their success. Well done, Youth LED!

Leading a Session at BLAST

The culmination of the Youth LED program is the participants planning and leading an activity at our BLAST after-school program. For our middle school aged participants, this is no mean feat. But our Youth LED leaders rose to the challenge. They planned a fun baking activity that would model teamwork and responsibility to the BLAST participants. Check out the pictures below to see how well received the activity was by the kids at BLAST!

Our Youth LED program will return in the Spring for another nine-week program. To learn more or register for the spring program, click here.

We hope to see you all in the spring!
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VITAL role models in training develop their communication skills

Moorelands’ Role Models In Training

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”   — Anonymous

Role Models in Training: VITAL kids build skills

Role Models: VITAL lessons in communication
Role Models: VITAL lessons in communication

Moorelands runs several after-school leadership programs for kids in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. We hope that through these programs, our kids will not only have fun and learn important skills but will also connect to great role models in their community. Because of this, Moorelands Youth LED (Lead Excel Demonstrate) for Middle School students and Moorelands VITAL (Volunteers in Training as Leaders) for High School students both have a focus on helping participants become positive role models and leaders in their community.

Great Role Models Need Great Communication Skills

As part of their leadership training, last week our VITAL participants took part in a fun and challenging communication and teamwork activity. Each participant was given an image that was part of a larger story. Without looking at the picture in their hands, they had to then use their leadership skills to get the story in order. Check out the pics of our leaders in action!

Role Modeling Responsibility Through Science

Both our Youth LED and VITAL program participants will eventually go on to volunteer at our BLAST program to further develop and practise their leadership skills while acting as positive role models to the younger BLAST kids.

Meanwhile, BLAST participants have access to great role models in the shape of their wonderful program leaders.  This week, BLAST leaders modeled responsibility and safety through a science experiment. In the Mentos and Coke experiment, BLAST kids explored the structure of making a hypothesis while also learning about the importance of self-control and behaving sensibly during an experiment.

There are still a few spaces left in our BLAST after school programs. To register visit

And don’t forget you can still sign up to adopt a Moorelands family for Christmas in our Adopt-a-Family program.

Have a great week!
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Budding Leaders make frames

Budding Leaders are Back!

Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”  Hansa Proverb

Budding Leaders: after school programs return!

Budding Leaders make frames
Budding Leaders show what they know through crafts

Our budding leaders came back with a bang on September 26th! Over the past couple of weeks, BLAST kids have been getting to know their group and Moorelands’ culture and routines. They’ve also been learning about Moorelands’ character qualities like respect and caring and our leadership habits like being proactive. Over the course of the year, Moorelands looks forward to helping BLAST kids develop these important character qualities and leadership skills that will help them grow.

Budding leaders get thankful!

In preparation for Thanksgiving, BLAST Grenoble kids have been making Thank You Frames for someone they are thankful for in their life. This task helps kids develop the character quality of caring whilst also giving them an opportunity to practise communication skills and working responsibly with materials. They also got to show off their creative flair!

Building self-awareness & saying thank you

Over at BLAST Gateway, saying thank you was also on the cards. Participants have been working on self-portraits which also convey who or what they are thankful for. It’s a great way for kids to express themselves whilst also helping them develop an awareness of the wonderful family and community that surrounds them.

Our Youth LED and VITAL youth leadership programs for middle and high school students have also returned. Program staff members have been visiting Valley Park Middle School and Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute to let students know about they great leadership development programs on offer. Check back next week to see what our older kids have been getting up to.

There are still a few spaces left in all our after school programs. To register for BLAST, Youth LED or VITAL visit

On behalf of everyone at Moorelands, especially the children and youth we serve, we’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to YOU our Moorelands’ community. YOU make our work possible and are the reason we’re still around after more than 100 years!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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after school programs leadership training

After school programs leadership training

Moorelands’ after school programs leadership training:

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it,  for the greatness is there already” John Buchan

Training our Staff Leaders

after school programs leadership training
After school programs staff team 2016/2017

At Moorelands we believe in our program staff; they are an integral part of Moorelands’ after school programs. Over multiple training sessions in September, our staff team for the 2016/2017 after school program year came to learn how to be Moorelands leaders.

Our after school programs leadership training is intensive, instructive but let’s not forget super fun! We model what we expect of our program leaders: that they will be able to help participants grow in skills and character through fun activities.

After School Programs Leadership Training

At Moorelands we are intentional. We intend that children will gain skills, experience personal growth, gain confidence and make friends because they have been to Moorelands.

Therefore we require that our staff leaders be intentional too. We train them to plan activities with a purpose, create teachable moments and maximize the opportunities Moorelands has to positively influence the children and youth we serve.

after school programs leadership training
all smiles at staff leadership training

Intentional Programming

For example, a cooking lesson is never just a cooking lesson at Moorelands BLAST. Sure, participants learn to follow a recipe, but they also learn to communicate, listen, work with a group, take direction and focus on safety, practice patience, build self-efficacy and self-control. These are the skills they take home with them and use all their lives.

High Five

Moorelands is rigorous in our program evaluation and our programs are assessed by the High Five framework. At training, we deliver a High Five training program called Principles of Healthy Childhood Development. This program provides in-depth training in the HIGH FIVE Principles of healthy child development so our program staff leaders understand what they need to do to ensure each child’s social, emotional and cognitive needs are met. In their learning, staff focus on 5 principles: A caring adult, Friends, Play, Mastery, Participation.

after school programs leadership training
Brain storming in after school programs leadership training

We’re so excited about the excellent staff team that we have in place for the 2016/2017 after school program year. We know that they are going to be fantastic role models for Moorelands’ participants; helping them know, grow and show the leadership habits and character qualities our programs help develop.

We’d also like to say a big THANK YOU to Scotiabank who fund our after school programs leadership training for staff. Thank you for helping us help kids!

after school programs leadership training
Building confidence and skills at staff leadership training.
after school programs leadership training
Fun learning activities in our after school programs leadership training
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