Need mulch? FREE mulch!!!

Following the gardening last weekend, we have some leftover mulch.  This time around we were delivered quite nice ground cedar mulch.

So… if you need mulch:

  • Help yourself.
  • First come, first served.
  • Bring a shovel, some buckets (or bags) or the back of a pickup truck and dig away at what remains of the pile.

The remaining mulch must go!  As of this posting it is surface wet only… but the dry interior is exposed on the face side, so if it rains some more it will start to get soaked through.

If interested, the mulch is located at the back of the school by the portable and the dumpsters.

Thank you to our student gardeners!

Thank you to all of the students who came out to help with the gardening after school on Friday.

Together we moved almost 6 yards of mulch onto the trees in the front garden, and the new hydrangea bed by the bike racks.

We have also distributed the mulch around the trees in the rear arboretum.  That mulch still needs to be raked. Stay tuned for details on when we’ll head out to finish that job.

Want to join the ESA Garden Club?  Send an e-mail to Ms. Chrisman at [email protected] .

2017 Choreographic Workshop

Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 Choreographic Workshop. It is a wonderful evening of talent that is happening on November 8th, 2017 at the Nancy Main Theatre at ESA. For ticket information, please visit, or you are welcome to purchase tickets at the door at 6:00pm

Summer Gardening Volunteers: Still Opportunity to Help Out

Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to look after the ESA Gardens for one week this summer.

We’re ready to put out a schedule… but we still have a couple of weeks left untended… We could still use a couple more students/families to help us out.

If you’re available to help out, please send an e-mail to [email protected] to advise which weeks work for you and we can ‘massage’ you into the schedule.

  • We have some folks who are available for more than one week that we can mix and match with.

Refer to the prior posting for details.

Summer Garden Helpers Still Needed

Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to look after the ESA Gardens for one week this summer.  We’re working on putting together the schedule.

We could still use a couple more students/families to help us out.  Refer to the prior posting for details.

Help a Garden: Summer Maintenance Volunteers Needed

Do you like to garden?  Do you have a few hours, once or twice a week during the summer, to do a light weeding and water the ESA gardens?

  • Volunteers – staff, students, parents, friends – are needed to mind our garden for one week each during the summer.
  • This typically means watering once or twice, subject to weather conditions.
  • You do need to be able to get to the school between 7am and 2:00pm…  the task takes approx. 2 hours.

Environment Canada’s 3 month summer forecasts suggests that this summer will be pretty typical of 30 year historical averages… neither too hot nor too dry.  Notwithstanding this, every summer brings its share of hot and dry weather.  This means the gardens, despite being almost exclusively native plant materials, really could use some TLC throughout the summer months.

  • If we get a good rain the week you’re on, it’s typically a free pass.
  • If it’s a scorcher that week, a second day of minding is greatly appreciated.

Community service hours are available for students who participate in summer maintenance.

Send en e-mail to [email protected] indicating which week(s) you would be available to assist.  We’re building the schedule now…

Many thanks in advance.

30 Hour Famine: June 2nd and 3rd

ESA’s Annual 30-Hour Famine will take place June 2nd and 3rd, 2017.

The 30 Hour Famine is a global youth movement to end hunger. In developing countries, those with no access to food or the basic necessities of life, struggle every day to survive. Every year, thousands of youth come together; we challenge ourselves to fast for 30 Hours, learn about hunger, and raise money to help create change. It’s about battling hunger and making the world a better place for children everywhere.

Students may pick up registration packages in the Library from Ms. Wray.

Calling all Gardeners! Help Wanted…

After school this Friday, May 26th.  Starting at 3:30pm…  we work until we’re finished… expect to be finished by 5:30 to 6:00pm.

  • We’ll be planting the new bed in behind the new bike racks – and mulching everything from the sumac bed at the street to the butterfly garden on the exterior wall of the Mini-Theatre.

Community service hours apply for all student helpers.

Send an e-mail to [email protected] to advise if you will be joining us.

  • Wear grubby clothes.
  • Bring your own canteen.
  • We’ll provide snacks to keep you going until dinner.


Rainy Day Blues? Join us for an intimate inspirational concert as we launch a movement.

Engage Your Art!

Founders Engage is being launched to showcase activities, deliver inspirational music and talks, to empower teens to look for ways that they can use their arts, academics and sports backgrounds to build community, build resiliency and promote positive change.

The concert on Saturday May 6th, 2017 will be accompanied by the official launch of our website,  The website will continue to evolve and become a space to highlight student community philanthropy, activism and creative endeavours that challenge existing stereotypes, progress dialogues of positive change, and bring awareness to how their actions can have a positive impact and encourage others to follow suit.

Join us this afternoon in the ESA Library.

  • 5:30pm – Meet and Greet and Light Refreshments
  • 6:30pm – Concert and Inspirational Voices

Saturday May 6th Concert Event: Check out our website!

Our website has gone live!  Check it out at

  • On Saturday we will be launching on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Later this spring we’ll be launching on YouTube.
  • The website will continue to evolve as we move forward into the fall.

Get in on the ground floor and help build a movement bringing together students from across Toronto to raise awareness and encourage engagement in community events and social activism – incorporating their arts, academics and sports backgrounds to make positive change.

We’re launching the movement with an inspirational concert event in the ESA Library this Saturday, May 6th.  The event is free for students.  We will gratefully accept any PWYC donations, suggested donation $15 per adult.  All proceeds will be going to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the community-based organizations with whom they work in sub-Saharan Africa.

The concert will feature performances by ESA alumni, Toronto singer-songwriters Henry Nozuka, Christian Bridges and Andrew Beg.  It will also include performances by current ESA students including Lauren Margaret Marron.  The event will be hosted by ESA student Zev Landsberg-Lewis.

We are excited to have Mama Darlina Tyawana, an African activist, lobbyist, public speaker and grandmother as a guest speaker. Mama Darlina will share her personal stories and experiences of grandmothers meeting the needs of millions of children and youth orphaned by AIDS in their communities, and the inspiring and innovative initiatives of community-based organisations in resurrecting hope and building resilience in communities.

FOUNDERS ENGAGE is supported by a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s ‘Speak Up’ programme, and will include the launch of an interactive website that highlights student community philanthropy, social activism, and creative endeavours that challenge existing stereotypes and encourage dialogue on positive change.


Calling all Grads! Need Community Service hours to graduate?

We have two opportunities for you.

FoundersEngage Launch: Saturday May 6th in the ESA Library.

Gardening at ESA


Calling all Gardeners! Save the Date…

It’s that time of year…  time to tend the ESA Gardens.  Save the Date for our first two workbees… and stay tuned for more dates to follow.

  • Wed May 10th: First work day in the courtyard.  We need approx 10 people to do some clearing, trimming and weeding to lay the groundwork for new planting, mulching and borders.  All work in the courtyard will happen after school – from 4pm onwards – since we cannot access the courtyard on weekends.
  • Fri May 26th: Join us, starting at 5pm, as we tidy the front gardens, so they look top notch not only for the summer, but for the SESAT Community Yard Sale on the Saturday morning, May 27th.

We rely on volunteers to help keep the gardens in tip top shape throughout the year.  For those who are new to ESA, our work schedule usually looks like this…

  • Spring Garden Party: Getting the gardens ready for summer.  Tasks typically include raking, weeding, edging the beds, as well as planting and mulching as required.
  • Summer Garden Maintenance: One family takes care of the garden for one week during the summer… watering and light weeding.  If it’s a hot dry week, then it’s great if you can mind the garden twice in the week.  If it’s a typical summer you probably only need to drop by once in the week.  If it’s a wet week, you might not even need to stop by.  It all depends on the weather…
  • Fall Garden Party: Putting the gardens to bed for the winter. Tasks typically include raking, weeding, edging the beds and planting spring flowering bulbs.
  • Courtyard Clean-Up: Usually takes place for Earth Day as ESA’s involvement with the City of Toronto Clean Toronto Together initiative.  Our clean-up was postponed this year due to Ms. Wray’s absence (in Vancouver with Poetry in Voice) that week…
  • We will be scheduling additional work bees for the courtyard this year, thanks to a generous donation we received last spring to renovate the space.