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

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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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