Our Involvement in the Community

Tokens 4 Change
On February 11th, ESA’s drama students participated in Tokens 4 Change a fundraising event held over 12 hours at various TTC stations across the city. Hundreds of volunteers worked toward the goal of amassing 5000 subway tokens to be donated to Youth Without Shelter. Shelters need many TTC tokens to send homeless youth to doctor’s appointments, job training, housing appointments, etc… In fact, it is one of the shelter’s largest expenses.

Project Humanity, an organization raising awareness of youth poverty through theatre has partnered with Youth Without Shelter and the TTC to help shed light on this issue. Project Humanity invited Ms. Brault’s Gr.10 Drama class to create a series of busker-style pieces of theatre to present on the platform at Bloor station to engage TTC riders. The class created unique pieces with actor (and ESA alumni), Claire Calnan. See the performances.

Have a Heart Coin Drive
ESA is excited to announce that we have begun a Have a Heart Coin Drive to raise funds for Toronto students in need. Funds raised from this drive will go to the Toronto Foundation for Student Success (TFSS), the arm’s length charitable foundation of the Toronto District School Board. More than one-third of Toronto’s youth live in poverty and many of these children are forced to go without many of the items we consider essential; winter boots, mittens, a backpack, gym shoes, etc. 

We are asking all our students to gather any loose change from home and bring it to school. Our coin drive campaign will last until Friday, February, 18th, 2011. Larger donations are also welcome. Cheques can be made payable to the Toronto Foundation for Student Success. Tax receipts are available for donations of $20.00 or more. Kindly submit your name and address if it does not appear on your cheque (due to the nature of the campaign tax receipts cannot be issued for cash donations). All donations can be submitted at lunch time in the main foyer.

The coin drive provides an excellent opportunity to teach our students about the value and importance of helping others in their community. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

19th Annual Riverdale Share Concert
During the holiday season caring friends and neighbours gathered to enjoy a lively and fun-filled afternoon of entertainment at the 19th Annual Riverdale Share Concert. Over the past 18 years, the traditional fundraising concert has showcased a plethora of musical talent on stage, and this year was no different. Hosted at St. Barnabas Church, musicians, vocalists and choirs performed live in front of a sold out audience, ringing in the holidays with Christmas carols and cheer.

ESA raises over $1460 for the Stonegate Community Health Centre’s Good Food Box Holiday Drive
ESA teamed up with The Stonegate Community Health Centre to help put additional food on the shelves of many Stonegate – Park Lawn neighbourhood residents in need. Every $17 raised gives a family in need a large size Good Food Box brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables as a gift for the holidays. The Good Food Box is a non-profit fresh fruit and vegetable distribution system created and operated by FoodShare, Toronto. Stonegate CHC acts as one of the many drop-off locations in the city. 

Staff and students at ESA felt very connected to this local charity and began fundraising in earnest for the week of Nov. 29th to Dec. 3rd. This was truly a school-wide initiative that involved all the creativity for which ESA is known. School clubs and individual classes raised money. KOWS (Kids Offering Willing Support) and Student Council each raised $170. Gr. 10 art students raised over $340 by setting up shop in the front hallway during lunch hours. Students sold original watercolour cards, handmade dinosaur snow globes, spontaneous portraits and tickets to raffles, all in an effort to raise as much money as possible. Music theatre students donated a pizza lunch prize. Students and staff opened their pockets to give generously when envelopes were passed around in class. Dance students donated the proceeds from their dress down day. ESA students and staff really pulled together exceeding expectations by raising $1460! We had committed to raising money for 50 Good Food Boxes and are pleased to be sending enough funds for 85 boxes!

Students and Staff will be presenting ESA’s donation to Stonegate. Julia Graham responded on Stonegate’s behalf with the following: “This is absolutely amazing, just tremendous. Your staff and students have put so much effort into helping us that we have now officially exceeded the amount of money required to raise for the drive this year itself. We will be putting the additional funds towards purchasing boxes for families in need throughout the year.”