Tag Archives: school

Grade 6’s Blew the Roof Off!

AllGymEau Claire was BOOMING this past Friday as our Grade 6’s congregated on the third floor to celebrate the past 10 months we’ve spent together.

What a truly amazing year we’ve had! Between impromptu gaga ball face-offs, nutrition workshops, tournaments, dance parties, Lego sessions, and cooking classes, it seems we have done it all at the YMCA! This past Friday, we got all of our branches together for our Grade 6 Year End Celebration, and it was incredible! Even though we were rained out of our Riveredge site, we still managed to collect a whopping total of 122 grade 6 students under the Eau Claire roof!

After enjoying some pizza and veggies, we split off into groups and participated in a variety of different stations. All our grade sixes got to HarveyStudiotry a little bit of everything; from Lego, to Kin ball and team building, to the first ever YMCA dance-rap-karaoke party!

We even got to meet Harvey the Hound and former Flames defenceman, Rhett Warrener!

The best part was having all of our members come together and experience something new with their fellow branches. All of us were excited to be a part of something so different – and we ensured that everyone in the building knew it! We are the first cohort of Calgary YMCA’s Grade 6 members, Flamesand we made sure to sign this school year off with a bang!

Summer is just around the corner and we are all bustling with the exciting opportunities that await us! To find out more information on what your branch is doing this summer, take a look at our Activity Page or contact your Youth Coordinator!

Thanks again to all of our lovely grade 6 members who have made this year at the YMCA one of our most memorable! And thank you to all of our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers as well as the Calgary Flames Foundation for Life for making this year happen! Without all of us – staff, members, and supporters alike – this year’s success would not have been possible!

Do Tutors Really Help Kids?

In a recent article on the Canadian Living website, writer Ryan Stuart takes a look at the impact a tutor can really have on your child’s academic success:

“Finding the right tutor for young children is important, but so is seeking tutoring for the right reasons. Discover if tutoring is really the best way to help your child with her studies.”

Read Can a Tutor Really Help Your Child on the Canadian Living website.

Announcing 2012 YMCA Peace Medals Recipients

Click here for 2013 YMCA Peace Medals Information

On Thursday, November 22 2012, our inspiring group of nominees were honoured at this year’s YMCA Peace Medal awards.  And the 2012 Peace Medal recipients are…

Community Group

YMCA Calgary is proud to present the Peace Medal for Community Group to Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids Society.

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids Society works to combat increasing numbers of students attending Calgary schools without a lunch. In 2011 alone, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids Society delivered more than 1,500 lunches each day to over 60 schools.

In addition to providing lunches, they are also supporting many community based initiatives. These include churches, community centres, schools and individuals who want to take action and support the children in their communities.

Through the work of volunteers and a commitment to helping children and the community at large, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids Society is a deserving recipient of this year’s Community Group Peace Medal.


Community Individual

YMCA Calgary is proud to present the Peace Medal for Community Individual to Bruce Johnston.

Bruce Johnston is the principal at Simon Fraser School and has been an educator for over 30 years. Bruce has been involved in youth leadership education and was the creator of one of Calgary’s first student leadership programs in 1998. His vision for student leadership also led him to create a focused citizenship event called, The My World Conference.

The My World Conference is a one day event that brings together students from many schools in Calgary with a focus on social justice and service.  Representatives from over 20 different organizations with a positive impact on their community take part in The My World Conference.

Bruce Johnston’s key focus is to always provide what is best for students and to create opportunities for youth to find their passions and make a positive change in the world both locally and globally.

We celebrate Bruce Johnston’s achievements with this award. Congratulations!


Community Youth

Ali-Faizan Virji is the recipient of the Community Youth Peace Medal.

Ali-Faizan Virji is one of the founders of Big Tree World Network, an online network dedicated to technology. Ali has engineered a vision belt called I-SEE equipped with short-range sensors that assist in the mobility and confidence of the visually impaired.  Ali’s prolific invention has potential to influence over 200 million visually impaired around the world.

This scientific research won Ali the recognition, “Youth in Motion, Canada’s Top 20 under 20 Award”.

In his short span of life, Ali’s act of giving unconditionally has generated goodwill locally and internationally.

YMCA Calgary is proud to award Ali-Faizan Virji with this 2012 Peace Medal. We congratulate Ali for making a difference and inspiring others to do the same.



The recipient of the 2012 YMCA Calgary Peace Medal for Humanitarian goes to Doctor Salim Mawani.

Dr. Salim Mawani is a retired medical physician who has dedicated his time to help in the settlement process of new immigrant families, primarily from Afghanistan. Through his own initiative, Dr. Mawani has worked extensively with hundreds of families and has helped children and youth realize their full potential.  These youth have been given the skills and confidence to succeed now and later in life.

For the past seven years, Dr. Mawani has worked tirelessly and selflessly every day in becoming a significant part of the lives of these youth and has shown amazing dedication, spirit and commitment. The results he continues to achieve with youth and their families have seen no boundaries.

Doctor Salim Mawani embodies peace and commitment to others in his everyday life. We recognize Doctor Mawani as a humanitarian and for the tremendous impact he has made on youth and our community.


International Group

YMCA Calgary is pleased to present the YMCA Peace Medal for International Group to The Strongest Oak.

The Strongest Oak has been offering support to extraordinary youth in developing nations by providing mentorship, internships and financial support. This incredible organization helps youth achieve life-changing personal, educational and professional goals that will set them on the path to success.

The Strongest Oak believes that long term peace is possible by equipping people with the skills they need to build strong communities dedicated to finding reconciliation.  They are creating long term impact by helping youth truly bring peace to their regions.

YMCA Calgary is proud to present this award to The Strongest Oak who is a living example of peace in the midst of conflict.


International Individual

The 2012 Peace Medal for International Individual goes to Sarah Kesler.

During a trip to Kenya to work with schools and orphanages, Sarah noticed the girls’ poor living conditions were impeding on their health and ability to focus on studies. Sarah began dreaming of building a dormitory that would provide a safe and healthy environment where the girls could reach their full potential. The dream became a realization when funds were raised with the support of Sarah’s family and the community. Named after an inspiring young student Sarah met along the way, Rose Cottage began construction in 2011.

With amazing dedication and compassion, Sarah believes that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself.

Thank you, Sarah Kesler, for providing a space for children to learn and grow!


International Youth

The Peace Medal for International Youth Group goes to The Legacy Corporation at Vincent Massey Jr. High.

The Legacy Corporation first began in 2004 as a class project in an attempt for students to actively learn about the value of money and hard work. The students realized that their actions could make a big difference in communities bigger than Calgary.

The Legacy Corporation has since raised tens of thousands of dollars towards humanitarian actions in local communities and in Third World Countries. The Legacy Corporation’s believe that an individual’s community is not limited by relative restrictions like walls or even borders.

This youth group is an example that no act of kindness is too small and that ambition and compassion can have a great effect on the global community.

YMCA Calgary is proud to award The Legacy Corporation with this 2012 Peace Medal.


YMCA Staff

YMCA Calgary is pleased to present the Peace Medal in the YMCA staff category to Selena Gignac.

Selena Gignac is the International Initiatives and Outreach Director at Community YMCA where she has been significantly involved in community development and the inclusion of immigrant youth. Since recognizing her passion, Selena became a representative for the Canadian Council for Refugees as a Community Mentor and is also on the Advisory Committee for Next Up Calgary, a leadership program for emerging social and environmental activists.

Selena’s passion for youth empowerment and inclusion led her to initiate Youth Space at YMCA in the Bishop McNally School where the youth have a safe and quiet place to study and a consistent support network.

Selena’s involvement within the youth and immigrant communities makes her a deserving recipient of a YMCA Peace Medal. Congratulations Selena!


Which Club for HS Students?

Have you checked out the Youth Are Awesome website? It’s a place where youth write for other youth on a plethera of incredible topics.

Here’s a great posting about the best three school clubs for youth to join. It’s a well thought out piece by young writer ‘richie’:

“The quest for extracurriculars is one that many high school students are familiar with.

  • “What would look good on my university application or resume?”
  • “Which clubs do I have time for?”
  • “Which ones will I actually like?”

In the desperate race to try every extracurricular activity there is, they often miss out on the best ones. In an attempt to ameliorate the anguish on deciding what school clubs you ought to join, I’ve compiled a short list of three school clubs I’m involved with. I’ll tell you why they are great, and hopefully to encourage you to join in your school’s rendition of these amazing extracurriculars!”

Click here to read the full blog posting on the Youth Are Awesome website.

Should you pay your kids for good grades?

Check out this informative article on the Time Healthland website providing information about the pros and cons of paying your kids for getting good grades:

“How to best inspire children to learn and maintain good grades (understanding that the two are not always mutually exclusive) has long been a challenge for parents, even as educational grading systems and methods of teaching change. Research indicates that extrinsic rewards don’t necessarily motivate a child to perform better in school. According to a recent article in the Journal of Educational Psychology, paying kids for grades can work, but only for a small portion of students and then only for a limited time. Unfortunately, the method is most effective for those who are already motivated to achieve.”

Click here to read this article by Suzanna de Baca in full on the Time Healthland website.

Send Your Kids Back to School With Confidence

Check out this article on the Canadian Living website about how to tackle those back to school nerves:

”Are your kids nervous about going back to school? Ease their fears and doubts with our expert tips for helping your kids deal with back-to-school jitters. It’s just about that time again, when summer comes to a close and your kids have to start thinking about heading back to the classroom.”Father and child at school

Click here to read the rest of the article by Jen Kirsch.


When Your Child Doesn’t Like their Teacher

Huffington Post online has an interesting section where parents can write in to Susan Stiffelman, the ‘Parent Coach’, for tips and advice on all sorts of issues.

One parent wrote in asking about how to deal with troubles between their child and the child’s teacher. Here was part of the response:

The key to a healthy student-teacher relationship is a child’s sense that he or she is liked. When there’s a mismatch of personalities — or the teacher has a hard time connecting with your youngster — it can make the whole school experience difficult.

Click here to read the full response from the Parent Coach on www.huffingtonpost.com.


Motivational Quotes to Help you Study

Written by Social Media Youth Volunteer, Sheriza Jiwani

Studying can be such a pain, especially studying something you are not passionate about. As much as you don’t want to, studying ahead of time will save you a lot of grief and stress closer to the test. Don’t procrastinate! When studying, it can be incredibly helpful to have funny and inspiring quotes around you to motivate you to keep working. It can also remind you that there will be an end to all this work. Just think, summer is less than a month away, you can do this! You can get through this, the home stretch!

Those who do not study are only cattle dressed up in men’s clothes.” – Chinese Proverb

Study without thought is vain: thought without study is dangerous.” – Confucious

Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, wisdom is looking both directions anyway.” – Anonymous

Books have knowledge, knowledge is power, power corrupts, corruption is a crime, and crime doesn’t pay, so if you keep reading, you’ll go broke.” – Anonymous

Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” – Mark Twain

We all learn best in our own ways. Some people do better studying one subject at a time, while some do better studying three things at once. Some people do best studying in a structured, linear way, while others do best jumping around ‘surrounding’ a subject rather than traversing it. Some people prefer to learn by manipulating models, and others by reading.” – Bill Gates

Everybody has their own unique techniques for studying and finding yours can really benefit your overall studying habits.

The Toughest Thing for Teens Isn’t School Work

What is a great source of stress for teens? This article on Globe & Mail online says a lot of teens say it isn’t the work demands of school that weight them down, but peer pressure:

“It’s about the social pressure so many teens feel when they are in school… ‘They’re always judging you. Being there in school; walking down the hall, or sitting in class. Everybody looks at you. They’re always judging. Maybe the kids at my school aren’t any worse than the kids at other schools, but the kids at my school can be pretty mean. Trust me, I know.’ ”

Click here to read the full article by Anthony E. Wolfe on www.theglobeandmail.com.

How Success Looks: YMCA Children’s Programming

Check out the great YMCA kids in our YMCA Aboriginal Buddies program. In this cultural discovery program, Aboriginal elementary school students meet twice a week to learn about Aboriginal culture and traditions, experience support and friendship and get help with school work.

There is no fee to participate in the Aboriginal Buddies program. For more information contact 403-537-1724 or sprovost@calgary.ymca.ca.

  • Find out more about YMCA Calgary Aboriginal programs? Click here.
  • Find out more about how you can help children and youth belong, grow, thrive, lead. Click here.