Chona has been attending the EarlyON Family Resource program at St. Alban’s for three years, ever since the birth of her first child, Olivia. Olivia and her younger sister, Ava, love the free play time, the ride on toys, and they especially love the Story & Song Circle (Tuesdays & Fridays). They have met friends here that they see outside the program.
Chona enjoys connecting with other moms, sharing information and discussing the joys and challenges of raising two kids who are so close together in age!
The free EarlyON program runs Monday-Friday from 9:30am-12:30pm and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm.
Our free EarlyON Family Resource Drop-in program is open Monday-Friday from 9:30-12:30 and Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm. It’s a great place for kids to play, sing, read and experience early learning activities. Program highlights include parent/tot swimming, creative arts, music & movement, and workshops.
Monique Vettraino, RECE has been the St. Alban’s EarlyOn Program Coordinator for 2 months, but has had years of experience as a participant in the program (and many others in the community) which she has been frequenting for many years with the children in her care. Monique has quite enjoyed building new relationships and advocating for the children, parents and caregivers at St. Alban’s. She is enjoying the daily song circles and providing new creative ideas to not only implement in the program but also for families to use at home.
Jason Melville has volunteered in a number of programs here at St. Alban’s and has been volunteering in the EarlyON program for 5 years! Jason has worked with the older children in the summer camp and STARS after school program, but says that he has really grown to love working with the 0-4 age group through the EarlyON program. He especially enjoys using puppets to tell stories to the kids and using different characters’ voices.
Summer Camp online registration begins: February 1 2019 9:00am
Starting this year, registration for March Break and Summer Camps will be online using the Amilia system. We have been using Amilia for our aquatic programs since the Summer 2018 session and have been quite happy with it. Our members have mentioned that they like the ease of use of the platform. In order to get set for registration, you will need to set up an account on the Amilia system and add your child(ren) as participants in your account. (Note: If you have already set up your Amilia account for aquatic registration, you do not need to set up an additional account! It is the same system!) Setting up the account before registration day will allow you to become familiar with the system, give you time to contact us with questions, and register for programs quickly on registration day.
You may also come into the Club (arrange a time with us) to use our computer lab to set up your account if you would like in-person assistance. If you would like to use our computer lab on the first day of registration, please let us know so that we can arrange to have a staff available to help you.
Please call the Club for assistance with setting up your account. We are happy to help – although will likely be unable to do so on the first day of registration as our phone lines are typically quite busy on that day.
Can I register by phone, email or in person?
Not at first. In order to fill programs in the order that we receive registrations, we need all participants to register using the online system.
For summer camp programs: We will begin accepting in-person registrations two weeks after registration opens. However, keep in mind that this gives other participants a full two weeks to register for a camp that you might want.
Uniqueka Wilson is an integral part of St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club’s recording studio program. Uniqueka has worked for St. Alban’s for 5 years in the role of sound engineer. She has a passion for music and for the industry and believes that her passion for music came from her grandfather. Her grandfather was a music teacher in the Bronx, New York and was an accomplished trombone player, playing with famous people like Bob Marley. Over the years, Uniqueka has learned more about this amazing man and has come to realize that her passion for music comes naturally.
How did you first get involved in sound engineering?
I first became involved in the field when I found myself in-between careers and my brother invited me to join him in a recording session. I enjoyed it so much and found a studio in New York City that was offering a six month program for sound engineers. I enrolled in the program and lived with my aunt in New Jersey while I attended the program. I then returned to Toronto and enrolled in the Remix Project.
What do you enjoy most about this field and your role as an engineer? What do you find most challenging?
I enjoy being a part of the moment, when the artist is recording in the booth in a vulnerable state, and helping them get the sound out right with perfect tone, pitch and expression.
The thing I find most challenging is when you’re working on a mix and getting each sound in its right space.
What do you find rewarding about this field?
I enjoy when I can deliver what the artist desires and they say, ‘you understood and delivered what I was trying to relay in my music.”
Do you ever write and record your own music – how does this make you feel?
Recently I started writing my own music and it feels really good. This helps me understand the artists I work with, even more.
Have you gotten any recognition or awards for your work?
(Editor’s note: Although we don’t have a specific award to give her, we recognize the amazing contribution Uniqueka makes to our Club and the young artists she works with! Her work with musicians yields brilliant results but more importantly, she empowers youth to feel confident and connected to their community. If there was an award for awesomeness, she would definitely deserve it.)
What has been your coolest accomplishment in this field and in life?
In the field, that fact that I’m in this amazing field and I can still do what I love. I had no idea where this would lead me.
In life, my most valuable accomplishment is my faith in Christ and the fact that he has given me the opportunity to be a part of St. Alban’s and the sound studio where I have had the opportunity to develop and expand the studio. Being here at St. Alban’s has given me the chance and freedom to grow as a person and an engineer.
Marta, a Raise the Grade mentor volunteer! Marta has been a mentor for the
Raise the Grade program for almost two years. She started out as an amazing
placement student working with our youth in programs such as Raise the Grade,
Youth Compass, Sole Sisters and is overall a great spirit in our community!
When did you join Raise the Grade and
what made you choose to be a volunteer mentor?
I joined officially in January 2018 and had the pleasure of doing my placement at St. Alban’s prior and got to see how the program worked. I like the idea that it is
a one-on-one mentorship experience with the youth. You are able to witness
their growth and accomplishments throughout the year and it is a nice feeling
know that you were able to mentor them during it all.
What is your favourite thing about
the Raise the Grade program?
Being able to see the growth of the youth by the end of the school year and how
happy they are with their accomplishments!
How do you like to relax especially
when dealing with stress?
Throwing on a pair of running shoes, putting on a great 90’s playlist and
taking a run around the city!
Sweet or Savoury? Favourite Snack?
100% Savoury! Chips are my weakness!
Dream travel destination?
Definitely Thailand. I love having the opportunity to experience different
cultures and the country looks beautiful. I also LOVE Thai cuisine.
If you could give one piece of advice
to your past self, what would it be?
Never give up on what makes you happy. With hard work and determination, you can
achieve anything…even if it takes a couple of tries and failures to get
Get to know one of our STARS After School program staff members, Alessia Lalli.
How long have you been at St. Alban’s?
I’ve been at St. Alban’s for 3 years! I started off as a placement student for my third year of university where I participated in the STARS Program and the youth program Sistahood. Once I completed my placement, I was hired to work at the satellite site, Regal Road. Since then, I have moved back to the main site where I have worked with Group 5/6 and Group 3 as well as worked summer camp 2016 and 2018.
What age group do you currently work with?
Grade 4! (9-10 year olds)
What is your favorite thing about working with St. Albans?
My favourite thing about working with St. Alban’s is the family atmosphere. Working with the same staff and kids every day makes it very easy for you all to get to know each other and bond quickly. Plus, the kids are super fun, energetic, and unpredictable and the staff are super friendly and always there for you.
Do you have any secret talents?
I can binge watch a TV series embarrassingly fast.
If you had a super power, what would it be and why?
Teleportation! You no longer have to worry about traffic or commuting.
If you could spend one day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be and why?
If I could spend one day in someone else’s shoes, it would be Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day because I have always wanted to be in a band and tour.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
Caring, spontaneous, optimistic
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher because I enjoyed helping my younger brother and sister with their homework (and yet, I never wanted to do my own).
Are you an Early Bird or Late Owl?
I’m 100% a late owl
I joined the Raise the Grade program because I needed extra help and support with my academics. I like the fact that I can work 1-on-1 with a mentor/tutor who is matched and catered to my academic needs and to also have someone I can trust and talk to on a regular basis.
Tell us about your biggest academic challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest academic challenge would have to be during my senior year in high school. I found out that I did not get accepted to my top school and program at Ryerson University. I had several other acceptances and almost went to another school. However after getting advice from my friends, family, and my mentor, I made the tough decision to do an extra year of high school and applied again. I ended up graduating my 5th year of high-school with honours and got accepted into the Sport Media program at Ryerson University! Moral of the story: Do not rush the process!
What is the best part about being a Raise the Grade participant?
I love that I can create a special bond with a mentor that is here to help me improve in various ways. I’ve known my current mentor, Stewart, for two years and he has helped me so much. The program gave us the opportunity to get to know each other and I’m thankful for his time and guidance.
What are your hopes and goals for the future?
My future goal is to graduate university with a degree in Sport Media and connect with individuals in the media world. My hopes are to work as a sports anchor and journalist for a Sport Media Company such as TSN!