Today our Club, and organizations across Canada celebrated #PinkShirtDay. On this day, we encourage everyone to wear pink to raise awareness around anti-bullying.
While some of our staff wore pink as their affirmative action, our Licensed Childcare team took things a step further and carved out some time to get creative and explore the ways in which bullying can look, and how our kids can do their part to prevent it from happening.
Our children created powerful signs, one of which read "Together we stand against bullying" and another had band-aids on a heart, representing the power of healing one another. They decorated their classroom doors and had open conversations about their experiences. Through their brainstorming activity, they developed numerous concepts including letting a teacher know and calling helplines if you need someone to talk to.
Through these small activities, we hope that they create awareness to our children about why we need to talk about bullying openly in order to prevent it from happening. In our community, we hold different experiences,...more
In the month of February, we will celebrate Black History Month with our focus on awareness. We will be emphasizing the qualities that exist within Black Culture and spread positive messages to help bring awareness and pride for our Galloway community which includes many members from the Afrocentric background.
Since 2019, our Club decided to break down the word BLACK as an acronym:
(C) coming 2022
(K) coming 2023
Black awareness helps us foster the importance of the ongoing work that is needed to ensure that African people in every society are afforded equal rights, opportunities, and are treated with respect and dignity. Our theme around Black awareness is also focused on the importance of strengthening allies in the Black community. The understanding that Black history is one that needs to be celebrated year-round is important to consider and implement in our day to day lives.
This past Monday, the Federal election was held and the Liberal Party declared their win. Prior to the voting day, ESBGC partnered with SCAN (Scarborough Civic Action Network) to host an event called, YOUTH VOTES. We wanted to give the youth the opportunity to pick the brains of some of the electoral candidates for the Scarborough Village Riding. After meeting with a few youth and having only one candidate from the Green Party come out to the event, it raised the question “Why?” – why are youth not interested in coming out to events related to politics, and why does it seem as though the voice of the youth is not important to our electoral system?
SCAN is an organization that focuses on networking agencies, community groups, and residents to improve our communities through civic engagement. They are working to uncover how they can get more youth involved and doing work such as creating youth councils, in order to raise awareness on youth issues. Through this form of action, they believe, the youth, can have a better relationship with politics and make a difference.more
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is pick yourself off the ground when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. But once you do, it’s the first step to building a much brighter future for yourself. Maria, a member of ESBGC for 4 years now, started attending the Raise the Grade Program. Raise the Grade supports young people by tutoring and mentoring them through their studies. Maria’s success stemmed from her commitment to wanting something greater for herself.
When Maria was in grade 7, she was failing. She had no interest in her school work and began to convince herself that this was it for her. One of her biggest concerns was the cost of tutoring, as it can be extremely pricey and unattainable for young people. With the world on her shoulders, Maria leaned to ESBGC for guidance.
“The Club has given me the opportunity to obtain resources such as tutoring that I couldn’t afford or obtain access to. They always provide the necessary resources and space I need to succeed.” – she tells us.
Over time, the staff grew closer to Maria, and they constantly shared...more
Wouldn’t it be great to have the perfect survival guide while trekking through high school? A guide that you could open up and it is filled with amazing tips and tricks that can help you get through any situation? High school is said to be some of the best and worst days of our life. There are a lot of things we go through that we keep to ourselves because we believe that no one will understand.
Sameera, one of our after school program staff at the Club came to us with a sacred book that could save the lives, and fulfill positive experiences for all young people going through high school. A Girls Guide to Surviving High School, written by various young women as part of the program S.I.S.T.A. (Sisters Inspiring Sisters to Achieve) at the school we once knew as David and Mary Thompson. It is a collection of true stories related to their experiences in high school. The stories offer useful tips at the end of each one to support young women who may be experiencing the same issues.
The program was a space where young women could come together, discuss the issues they were...more
In our communities, it is very easy to feel marginalized and undervalued in systemic spaces. When certain experiences and emotions are hard to discuss, young people have few choices. Sometimes these decisions can have a major impact on life as a whole.
Many may have heard the quote “Ball is Life” and laugh without truly understanding the love that is attached to it and why…
Here at the Club, there is not a day that goes by that a basketball doesn’t SWOSH the net as it hits our new NBA backboards. Looking deeper into the passion, at any age, one can admire the dedication that comes with something that relieves stress, a place where you can make friends who turn into family, and learn a new skill. We host Jr. NBA programs on the weekends, and Ball Runs for the young adults and teens in the week. The space is always filled and utilized well.more
When we think of the word commitment, what comes to mind? Is it 5 years, 10 years, 15 years? If you’ve been a part of our Licensed Child Care programs within the last 25 years, the name Dawn Davis may ring a bell. She is now well known in the ESBGC community, has true happiness attached to her identity.
Dawn shared her story on how coming from a foreign country changed her life forever and taught her the impacts and benefits of dedication.
Her journey dates back to 1991 when she left Guyana to begin her new life here in Canada. With her validated credentials, she was determined, like many of our immigrant families, to seek out a better life. After spending a year looking for a job and being unsuccessful, she turned to post-secondary education and then landed a position at our Club as a mature student. She then developed into a lead staff, to supervisor, and then opened up a new centre at St. Martin de Porres Catholic School, where they specialized in licensed child care for toddlers, preschools and school-age children.
Dawn tells us that in her hometown, daycare...more
Turkey, Turkey, and more Turkey. The ultimate Thanksgiving staple. Due to a wide eye and excitement, we usually fill our plates a little too much, contributing to the 50% of food that gets thrown into landfill every year. Thankfully, we have Second Harvest, an organization that helps to minimize the deterioration of our environment.
Second Harvest is a food recovery agency that focuses on environmental protection and food access to communities. They connect with the food supply chain to collect surplus food. These partners include restaurants, wholesalers, and local farms to redistribute the food to non-profit organizations like ESBGC. The food is delivered through the freedom truck to the various non-profit and charity organizations they support.more
If you have been keeping up with our blogs lately, you may recall hearing about the Be Boundless Ghana Trip where we said we would be sending 11 youth from our community to travel into the most memorable journey of their life thus far; a cultural exchange to Ghana during the 400 th year anniversary; known as the Year of the Return. Well the youth are back, and we have an update!
Travelling halfway across the world allowed our BE BOUNDLESS team to expand their horizons and view life through a different perspective. The trip was full of experiences where our youth explored their history, culture and identity. There were daily tours into the grass root communities of the country, which evoked discussions on the impact of slavery, the legacy of colonialism, the impact of the media, and the strength and resilience of our ancestors. They examined their personal bias and prejudices, and the role that they play in shaping a better future.
Beginning in the Volta region, the group participated in traditional enstoolment ceremonies at the Nkonya Tayi and Ho Ziavi villages....more
Understanding the growth of technology is essential to our future. The NAVACUP Foundation, founded by Ganesh Navaratnarajah, hosted their annual golf tournament on June 15th this year. The day was filled with various teams filing in early in the morning to get out and play golf. The day carried on with lunch, raffles, and a silent auction. Followed by multiple motivational guest speakers including, Owen Charters, the CEO of Boy’s and Girl’s Club Canada.
Their goal is to raise funds to purchase laptops for youth in developing communities. In 2009, the foundation worked solely with the East Scarborough Boys and Girls club for the first 5 years, and expanded organically to provide their work to the Albion and Peel Boys and Girls Club.
To ensure the laptops are going to the youth who need it most, the NAVACUP team has worked with the students of the IMANI program at U of T to act as mentors to provide guidance for youth placed in troubling situations. To be fair, the youth must meet specific criteria before applying to win one of the laptops (i.e. have never entered the...more
Tis the Season to Give!
Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwanza, or Hanukkah at this time of year, the one thing that holds us all together is the gift of giving back. This year we are proud to share and give thanks to all the people that contributed to donations for our community.
In a nutshell, take a look at how we helped!
- 107 Families received food hampers
- 53 Families received a turkey
- 41 Families received a grocery gift cards all worth up to $1580
- 236 Families will received toys and gifts to give to their children (totalling up to 527 Children)
Initiatives such as this one can help teach us a valuable lesson; Coming together and working as a team creates positive change in our community. As we live our day to day lives, it makes it very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our wants, forgetting that the true spirit of the holiday has always been about giving. Sometimes the people that we help are closer than we realize; in our schools, in our community centres, and even the places we...more