Tag Archives: Lawrence Heights Middle School

School’s in Session

17 Sep

As the summer comes to close, we are preparing to begin the fall sessions of our children’s community outreach program, My Magic Hands. In a few short weeks, we will be starting new programs with some of our local community partners. We are pleased to welcome our newest partner:  Boundless Adventures.

Boundless, founded in 1984, is dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized youth, adults and children at risk through a unique combination of counselling, social rehabilitation, alternative education and outdoor adventure. They work in partnership with Ontario-based community agencies, mostly from Toronto, with programs that strive to prevent crime, promote alternatives to drug abuse and strengthen the bonds of families and communities ravaged by poverty, violence and mental illness.

This fall, we will be revisiting perennial community partners: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Lawrence Heights Middle School. With the help of these partners – and an outstanding group of young volunteers – we will continue to share wonder with many new magicians.

Sharing Wonder with New Partners

6 Oct

Magicana partners with
Havergal College & Lawrence Heights Middle School

Magicana is pleased to introduce a new format for My Magic Hands. The program, now in its fifth year of operation, introduces children ages eight to twelve (often classified as “high-needs”) in at-risk neighbourhoods to the world of performance art through magic. Children work together with Magicana instructors to learn tricks over the course of eight weeks to stage A Big Magic show at the end of the course.

A new partnership with Havergal College and Lawrence Heights Middle School has allowed a new format to be created. The result: even more children to share in this unique, self-exploration experience.

Each participant is partnered with a high-school aged volunteer who serves as a personal magic coach throughout the program. With one-to-one support and mentorship, the learning possibilities increase dramatically. Volunteers also get to experience first-hand the positive impact that they can have in the life of others simply by being there and being supportive. An excerpt of the Havergal Student Liaison’s perspective:

Dear Magicana,

Thank you SO much for giving the Lawrence Heights Homework Club the opportunity to work with Magic Hands. The program has really improved the relationship between the buddies in so many ways. I know the Havergal volunteers really enjoyed learning something new WITH their buddy which has helped to shape their relationship. [Your program] has started off the year with such a positive energy; I really look forward to continuing [the
Homework Club] throughout the year. Magic Hands has made a such positive difference in the Lawrence Heights Homework Club and I hope it can continue into the future.

Best wishes,

Student Liaison

Previously, one instructor accompanied by an assistant could lead a group of up to fifteen children. In a pilot session of the new format in 2007, twenty-five children worked one-on-one with volunteers from Havergal College’s “Homework Club”. Magicana is pleased to be working
with Havergal students again in 2008 to repeat the tremendous success.

As Magicana seeks to grow the My Magic Hands program in 2009, it is actively seeking community partners to expand the program in this new and improved format.

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