Toronto Needs more Moorelands!

Toronto Needs More Moorelands!

Why does Toronto need more Moorelands?

Child Poverty & Mental Health

“The odds of a child or youth from a family living in poverty having a mental health problem are three times that of a child from a family that is not living in poverty.” Linking poverty and mental health: A lifespan view; Sept. 2008

Early Learning Vastly Reduced by Poverty

“Recreation and early learning participation levels of Toronto children are highly dependent on family income: half of children in families with annual incomes under $30,000 do not regularly participate in out-of-school arts or sports programs.”  In contrast, 93% of children in families with incomes over $100,000 participate in these programs. DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital, Nov. 2016

New Canadians – 50% of Children Live in Poverty

“Almost 1 in 2 children in the GTA (47.6%), who arrived in Canada between 2011 and 2016, live in poverty. This is almost 3 times the rate of poverty experienced by children in non-immigrant families.” UNEQUAL CITY: The Hidden Divide Among Toronto’s Children and Youth, Nov. 2017

 

BUT there is GOOD news… see how you’re helping!

What we achieved in 2017 Toronto needs more Moorelands

Of course, to fund all this great work we are constantly looking to you, our partners, who believe in giving kids opportunities.  Help us spread the word about the great work being done at Moorelands and make more Moorelands happen for Toronto kids. If you haven’t already this year, please make a gift that gives children the power to grow into leaders. Choose to transform a life today.

Donate

Annual General Meeting 2018

Moorelands’ Annual General Meeting 2018

Moorelands Annual General Meeting 2018

Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


Scotiabank

Scotia Plaza

44 King Street West

Help Us Shape Moorelands' Future

Please join us at our Annual General Meeting on April 11th where you can shape the future of Moorelands.  Enjoy cocktails and light refreshments as we discuss your impact in 2017 and look ahead to serving more children in 2018. We know that Toronto needs more Moorelands! Plus, hear from one of our fantastic Youth Ambassadors whose life you’ve changed with your generous support and meet with Moorelands’ Board and Staff to share your views.  With gratitude to Scotiabank for the generous donation of their meeting space.

RSVP to Danielle 416-466-9987 ext. 300 or dbuller@moorelands.ca.

We look forward to seeing you on April 11th!

Moorelands Youth LED Table game

What Goes On at Moorelands Youth LED?

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader success is all about growing others.”  Jack Welch

They're Not "Just Kids" - They're Future Leaders!

Moorelands Youth LED

Moorelands Youth LED program at Valley Park Middle School gives students in grades 6 – 8 the chance to develop leadership and life skills through fun, hands-on experiences. At Moorelands, we don’t see middle schoolers as “just kids,” we know that they are future Toronto leaders. Our program is designed to help them develop the habits and qualities they need to be leaders, not just in the future, but RIGHT NOW!

Our participants tell us that they end up using what they’ve learned at Moorelands Youth LED to succeed at school, at home and in their community. Read on to find out what exactly goes on at Moorelands Youth LED!

Fun Ways to Build Skills

Moorelands Youth LED is run as two nine-week programs. Participants can sign up for the fall or spring semester – or both! Over the course of the program, participants take part in fun activities that help them develop the Moorelands leadership habits and qualities. In the pics to the right, you can see our young people developing their communication and teamwork skills. The whole group was given 30 images and they had to work together to piece the images into a story in the correct order. Oh, and to just keep them on their toes, there was no talking allowed!

In the images to the left, you can see two Moorelands Youth LED participants taking part in an activity called ‘Nail Stacking.’ Teams start with one nail placed vertically into a wooden block. From there, the task requires each team to see how many nails they can stack on top of one another without the whole thing crashing down. Here, they were working on the leadership habit of “Together is Better” and building their resiliency. The record reached was 30 nails!

Other fun activities include games like “Minefield” where prizes are strewn across the room. Participants work in pairs where one partner is blindfolded and the other has to direct them to the prize they want. The catch is that the pair wins the first thing they touch, so if they don’t listen carefully and touch one of the “boobytraps” also lying throughout the minefield, that’s what they go home with. It’s a way for participants to practise listening skills and the importance of listening first before taking action/responding.

Bringing it all Together

So much happens over the nine-week program including the chance to get certified in First Aid. Towards the end of the program, participants take part in the Egg Drop challenge which is a chance for them to bring all their skills together. Participants are presented with an egg. Then, working in teams, they have to construct packaging for the egg which will allow it to survive being dropped from the second floor down to the first floor completely intact! Check out one team’s results in the video to the left… will their egg have survived the fall?

Volunteer Opportunity

A big highlight of Moorelands Youth LED is the opportunity to gain volunteer experience and pass on some of the skills they have learned to younger kids in their community. Youth LED participants planned and delivered a crafting activity to elementary school-aged kids in our BLAST after-school program. Participants not only explained and lead the activity but also debriefed it too! They helped the younger kids understand the importance of the skills and qualities they had developed; namely sharing, responsibility and fairness.

Our Youth LED and VITAL leadership programs participants also get the opportunity to attend a leadership retreat in the late spring. This field trip to an outdoor education centre gives them a chance to consolidate their learning while taking part in fun, outdoor activities like archery and high ropes.

If you are interested in applying for the spring semester of Youth LED, you can apply online here. Or get in touch with our after-school programs team for more info: 416-466-9987 Ext. 305 or afterschool@moorelands.ca

Moorelands LOGO

Laugh out Loud 9

Laugh Out Loud in Leaside #9

Moorelands is so proud to be this year’s beneficiary of the 9th Annual Laugh Out Loud in Leaside event. Hosted by Charlene Kalia, this night of big laughs will take place on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Laugh Out Loud in Leaside #9 will include hilarious comedy, silent and live auctions, gourmet appetizers, oyster bar, live music and so much more. This event sells out rapidly so get your tickets and don’t miss out on a fun evening with friends!

Moorelands early registration - Apply For Camp 2018

Early Registration Open for Moorelands Camp 2018!

Early registration is open for Moorelands Camp 2018! We already have 24 applications in for the upcoming summer, so don’t delay.

And don’t forget, we’re running our “early bird” contest again this year: get your *completed* application in by January 26th and be entered into a draw to win a family night out! ($50 cineplex gift card and $50 restaurant gift card).

Moorelands Camp is calling!

 

Apply Online

 

Need more info? Check out our camp page.

Still got questions? Send us a message below!

Chloe

Chloe

Back home, in the City, Chloe has always had trouble fitting in.

She arrived at Moorelands Camp, aged 8, in a flurry of hyperactivity.  Right away, camp staff realised that she needed help making and keeping friends.  Chloe was loud, impatient and often interrupted campers and staff mid-sentence.   It was clear that she was desperate to make friends and yet her behaviour kept other kids away.  She felt left out, alone and angry. It was the story of her life she told camp counsellor, Lynx.

But something happened to Chloe at camp. She started to see that not everyone was against her. The inclusive atmosphere had an immediate impact. As she participated in activities and worked as part of a team, she started to build confidence in herself and then build friendships.

She told Lynx it was the first time in her life that people were kind to her; that other kids didn’t make fun of her or exclude her from the group.  With support from staff, she learned to respect others and let them have their say.  She learned that while she didn’t have to be like everyone else to fit in, she did have to treat others with respect.

Now aged 11, Chloe came back this summer for her third year at camp. She’s proud to have taken the lessons she’s learned back home and things are getting better there.  But she still looks forward to camp all year long. It’s the one place, she explains, that she can be herself and everyone will accept her for who she is.

Chloe is from a low-income background. Without the sponsorship of generous donors, she would not be able to attend camp. Please donate and provide Chloe with the skills and life-lessons she needs to succeed.

Our Moorelands’ campers’ names and images are changed to protect their identities.

campfire confidence

Natalie

“Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Make a donation before the end of the year to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.”

Natalie's Story

I’d like you to meet Natalie. She’s just one of the 133,000 children who are living in poverty in our city, right now.

Natalie was going through a tough time when I first met her.

Our BLAST leaders told me that she had been a victim of bullying at school and her self-esteem was at rock bottom. I watched her interacting with the other children at BLAST and I could see that, although she was struggling, the positive environment based on respect and caring was helping her, slowly but surely, come out of her shell.  It became clear to me that this was a child in need of the year-round support that Moorelands can offer. I determined, right then and there, to get Natalie to camp.

Fast-forward to this summer at Moorelands Camp where I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie again. This time around, it was like meeting a different person.  I saw her beaming with confidence as she sang camp songs with a group of friends around the campfire. As the campfire came to a close, her cabin group passed by. There she was, right in the middle, laughing and filled with joy as she recounted her time at camp and all she’d achieved. When I asked her what she had learned over her time at Moorelands she said;

“Moorelands has taught me how to be strong and think positively. From what I’ve learned here, I can teach others to be more confident like me.”  – Natalie, Age 10.

At Moorelands Camp, kids like Natalie get the opportunity to develop self-esteem and resiliency and to form positive, enduring friendships – the tools they need to overcome bullying and many other life challenges.

Moorelands changed Natalie. Be Natalie’s hero. Donate before December 31st 2017 to help Natalie spread some Moorelands “campfire confidence” to other Toronto kids.

Thank you!

Lynda

Mike (right) as a volunteer at camp

Mike Kim Shares His Moorelands Story

“I grew up in a loving family. For many kids it’s not like that. Moorelands taught me to be aware of more than just what’s in front of you.”

Mike's Story

Mike as a staff member at Moorelands Camp
Mike at Moorelands Camp

Mike “Squeak” Kim started working at Moorelands Camp in 2004 and went on to be a Section Head and then the Assistant Manager of our City Programs. Although he officially left in 2009, he continues to volunteer regularly.

For Mike, one thing that stands out about Moorelands’ approach is the focus on creating “the best environment possible” for the kids we serve.

Leadership for Staff and Kids

“Staff here are pushed to do more.” He explains, “It’s more than just playing or babysitting –there’s a strong focus on developing leadership skills in both the kids and the staff.”

Working at Moorelands made a huge impact on Mike’s life.  He credits Nemo and Lost with helping him overcome his fear of public speaking, but he also learned so much from them about how to lead, develop staff and empower kids: Everything I learned at Moorelands I now model in the way I conduct myself as a social worker.”

Mike at work in the Moorelands office
Mike at work in the Moorelands office
Mike with fellow Moorelands staff member Katie
Mike with fellow Moorelands office staff member Katie overlooking Kawagama Lake

A Sense of Community and Citizenship

Today, Mike works at a homeless shelter for youth and helps youth find and keep employment. When working with these kids, he uses Moorelands strategies – such as fostering a sense of community and citizenship – and makes sure never to label anyone as a “bad kid.”

“Moorelands taught me that I can be the person who reinforces the negative stereotype a kid holds of themselves, or I can show them that they are a person of value who can do great things. That’s a game changer.”

An Experience like Moorelands Can Make All the Difference

At work, he’s always struck by just how different things might have been for his clients if they’d had an experience like Moorelands.

Now, I see youth at the worst time in their life. They have been neglected; they’ve run away from home. They often ask me, ‘Where was someone like you when I was younger?’ I really believe when you invest in kids at a younger age – like Moorelands does – it negates the bad influences.”

One of the pictures taken by Mike as a volunteer at camp.
One of the pictures taken by Mike as a volunteer at camp.
Mike at Camp
Mike at Camp

Mike is so proud to continue to be a part of Moorelands: “It takes a community to help these kids. Things don’t change over-night; it’s a long-term investment.

 The work you make possible is so influential. The friendships and connections kids make at Moorelands – they continue to support us long after camp.”

Thanks, Mike, for being a part of the Moorelands’ community! We’re so glad to have you as part of our world!

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!
Moorelands Logo - help us help kids

Advice I Wish I’d Had: High School Grads Give Advice on Making Career Moves

Life is a puzzle, you put it together as you go. Some things fit perfectly, while others don’t, but you always wish you had some advice to guide you along your way.

Moorelands VITAL (Volunteers In Training As Leaders) program helps youth develop leadership skills and positive character qualities that will prepare them to succeed in school and the workplace. To help our participants, before they transition from High School to post-secondary education or the world of work, we’ve created a short series of advice articles: Advice I Wish I’d Had.

In this series, University and College students share what they have learned since graduating High School, from transitioning into University or College to finding a summer job. This week find out what advice they give on making career moves.

Anonymous | Business Technology Management | Ryerson University

Think long and hard over the decision. Follow the decision making process that best fits you but also keep in mind practicality. It would be a good idea to have a plan to fall back on if things don’t work out.

 

Mustafa | Neuroscience | University of Toronto

Think about whether you’ll regret the choice next week. The Next year. Then next decade. And then decide on it. Kind of like a tattoo.

 

Anonymous | Double Major in English and Sociology with an emphasis in Education |  Trent University

If it motivates you to jump out of bed every morning than you know you’re on the right track. Change is okay as long as you don’t lose sight of you.

Anonymous | Life Sciences | UOIT

Ask questions to yourself if the choice is right for you and your personal life.

 

Nick | Nuclear Engineering | UOIT

When trying to find the career for you make sure your interests are a priority.
While high pay is definitely enticing, you should try to find a career that you can see yourself doing for a reasonably long time while still maintaining your interest in said field.

 

Giulia | Professional Communications | Ryerson  University

Research opportunities to see what the requirements are and how you can tailor your resume to each position.

Anonymous | Practical Nursing | Centennial College

Some people may want to do something then you suddenly lose interest so it’s best to really think about what you want to do since tuition is expensive

 

Anonymous | Graphic Design | OCAD

Plan ahead.

 

 

By Vimbai Chikoore

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