The St. Alban’s Scoop

September 2020

Hello! We hope everyone is safe and well.  This is a fall like none other. We know that as we return to school, work and programs, there is some degree of trepidation.  But we hope that, like all of us at the Club, you and your children are also feeling excited to get back to some degree of normalcy after such a long few months.  

We would like to take this opportunity to update you with what has been going on at the Club this summer, our plans for the fall, and what precautions we are taking to keep our members, our staff, and our communities safe. 

Food support – With the support of PC Children’s Charity, Second Harvest and the government of Canada through the United Way, we have been able to deliver weekly meals and provide grocery gift cards to many of our families who need the help.   

Preschool – Preschool was our first program to open back up on June 22. We started out with just a few children and staff members, and steadily grew our numbers from there.  By the end of September, we should be back up to almost 65% of our normal capacity (Approximately 43 children).  

Summer Camp – We successfully ran in-person summer camp programs at multiple locations in four communities (Bathurst/Dupont, Jane and Finch, Weston-Mount Dennis and St.Clair West).  We also ran virtual online summer camps in partnership with the Jays Care Foundation in four communities.  

Aquatic Programs – After a successful session in August, we will once again be running a fall session.  Registration opens on September 7th and classes will begin on September 21st.  Only private and semi-private lessons will be available. There will be no program at the Winona pool this fall nor will we have member (lane, recreation and AquaFit) swims for now. 

After school programs for children – We are getting ready to run after school programs in four communities (Bathurst/Dupont, Jane and Finch, Weston-Mount Dennis and Lawrence Heights.)   Registration is currently open on our website.  Unfortunately, we are not currently able to run our after school programs in York Region as the schools are not yet offering permits to outside groups, however we are optimistic that we will be able to re-open our programs later in the school year. 

Virtual after school programs – for those who are more comfortable with at home programs, we are hoping to be able to offer online programs for kids in all our communities, including York Region.  They will likely be specialty programs like science and coding.  We are applying for funding for these programs and will update our website with more information.  

Programs for youth – Our Raise the Grade program for youth will be offered in person and virtually in three communities. At our main Palmerston location, we will offer our daily Youth Hub program, but it will now be a registered program instead of drop in.  At some of our locations, depending on how the next few weeks and months go, we will look at slowly starting other programs for youth.  

Management team – In order to minimize risk as much as possible, only essential front line staff and their managers are working at the Clubs. The rest of our management team has been primarily working from home. Thanks to the support of our technology consultants and our team’s flexibility and communication skills, we expect this setup to work for the foreseeable future.For all the in-person programs that have been running this summer, we commend the staff, parents, and participants for their careful attention to all the new changes and safety protocols.   It wasn’t easy to be among the first to be in a group recreation environment in this pandemic situation, but with everyone’s cooperation, we were able to experience a fun and safe summer.  

We have an amazing front line staff team, who have missed the kids and youth very much.  They are excited to get back to work.  We have seen them rise to the occasion, take on the extra training and precautions that this “new normal” requires of us, and show enormous caring for the well-being of the kids in their care.  

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, our members, for your support during this difficult time. For those of you sending your children back to us this fall, or who participated in our summer programs, we feel honoured that you have entrusted us with their safety.  For those of you who don’t feel quite ready to send your kids to the Club, we understand, and we are here for your when you need us. Let us know how your families are doing, and reach out if you need any assistance. 

We take our direction from Toronto Public Health, TDSB, and provincial and federal authorities.  The situation is ever changing, but we are optimistic that if we all continue to use caution and work together, we will have a successful and safe fall and winter. 

St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club

We’re having a blast at summer camp!

We don’t know who is having a better time now that in person programs are back in session – the kids or the staff!

There are still some spaces left in our summer camp program for ages 6-12 – register today!

Not quite ready for the in person experience? Or, you are at home and don’t require a full day of program? Virtual summer camp might be the best choice for your child! There are still spots left! Register today!

Young artists expressing themselves in Virtual Summer Camp!

Virtual Summer Camp

This summer, we are offering two different online experiences.

For both programs, your child will need access to a computer or tablet during the session. We will be using the platform Zoom. You will receive a link prior to the session, along with a password, through which you can join the meeting – no Zoom account is required to do so.

If you have any barriers with regards to a device, we can help with that! We have a great “Device Lending Program” that will allow your child(ren) to participate. Please email if you are interested in the program.

We will only use material that you have at home. Generally plastic bags, towels, rolled up socks, paper, crayons and color pencils. Also recycled material like egg cartons, glass containers, etc. Prior to each week of camp, a list will be sent out. 

Jays Care Foundation Virtual Summer Camp

We have partnered with the Jays Care Foundation to provide a new kind of camp experience.

Our virtual camps will provide a good mix of educational and fun activities that will allow your child to be social with their peers and our camp staff. Your child will dive into a world outside their home for 45 minutes per day and engage in highly interactive and remarkably fun sessions tailored to their age, and each week is assigned to a fun theme. Virtual camp is a great way for your child to connect with friends, make new friends, while being creative and learning new skills.

Two age groups:

Jays Care Foundation Virtual camp is free! Register online.

Camp Wifi

Monday – Friday with 2 sessions per day

Ages 6 – 9: 10:00am – 11:00am AND 1:00pm -2:00pm

Ages 10 – 12:  11:00am – 12:00pm AND 2:00pm – 3:00pm

To register email:

This week’s virtual programs

As some of our staff is preparing for upcoming in person programs and virtual summer camps, some of our weekly virtual programs may end after this week. We will keep you posted.

Take a peek at this week’s and don’t miss out on all the fun and active activities the team has planned for you. Don’t forget to share your finished products with us!

We are also running closed online groups for Sole Sisters, Swim Team, Youth Council, and Jane and Finch Youth Group. Please reach out to a program manager or to join.

Supplies you will need this week:

Tuesday Arts& Crafts – Paper Bag Puppets

  • Paper Bag
  •  Construction paper
  •  Scissors
  •  Glue
  • Crayons
  • Yarn

Wednesday Cooking – Strawberry Crumb Bars 

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch

Friday Arts & Crafts – Father’s Day Cards

  • Construction paper
  • White paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • crayons 

Summer Camp 2020

We are happy to announce that we will be able to offer in person camps for children ages 6 to 12 years old this summer. Our camps will have a different look to them, with the safety of our members and staff at the forefront. 

We will offer a camp experience that will include outdoor physical activities, active and quiet games, arts and crafts and much more. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, our camp programs will meet the health and safety guidelines and will be in alignment with provincial government and local public health guidelines. Guidelines include lower ratios and capacity, physical distancing, mandatory health screening and enhanced facility cleaning.

Therefore, we will have limited spots, and our camp days will be shorter to ensure proper cleaning and sanitization of our building. Camp groups will be smaller will a ratio of 8 children to 2 leaders, per cohort. Each cohort/group of children will stay together with their 2 leaders for the day and will not interact with other groups.

Before entering our building all children and parents will go through a wellness check. Once both parents and child have successfully passed the wellness check, only the child be allowed to enter our Club.  Parents or caregivers will not be permitted to enter the building during drop off or pick up times, the Club will assign a staff/leader to accompany the child into and out of the building during these times.

We are hoping to have more information posted on our website by Friday June 19th and open online registration by June 24th.

We have not finalized all the details yet, however at this time, we are looking at a start date of July 6 and an end date of August 14th.   The camps will likely have a time of 9:00am-4:00pm and be free of charge.

The number of camp groups as well as start and end dates will be partially determined by the needs of the community, therefore, if you are interested in sending your child for one or more sessions this summer, please let us know by emailing

The Day You Begin

DISPATCH – June 12, 2020

Hi Trailblazers, welcome back! In this week’s dispatch, we are going to explore the importance of stories. Telling them, sharing them, and how they can connect us to one another.


Our stories are part of who we are. Our stories are how we express our identity, and connect with other people. They provide us with entertainment, knowledge and more.

A collage of a south-Asian child working on a mural, a photo of a black family in front of a decorated tree dated February 1962, and two Asian children working on a garden, on a background of a book filled with a child’s drawings.

The ROM had an exhibition called The Family Camera that was all about the power of stories. It explored how personal stories help us understand a lot more – not just about where we personally come from, but also about the world around us.  

The Day You Begin is a book about beginning to share our stories. It is written by by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López. In the The Day You Begin, we learn that personal stories help us find out how people share somethings in common with us, and how there are other things that are fabulously not like us at all. Every person is made up of stories that come together to make us who we are. Watch a read along of The Day You Begin here!

Join Sarah and Christian from the ROM as they read The Day You Begin and talk about the importance of stories.


This week, start to share your own stories with those around you, like those kids in The Day You Begin

  1. Choose one story that’s important to you, and that you feel comfortable sharing with other people. It might be a story about a scar you got on an adventure with a friend, an important treasure you found on a journey, your favourite meal that you learned how to make… any story is good, as long as it’s about you
  2. Share your story in a way that feels right to you. You could draw a picture, share a photo, write a poem, make a video, or find another creative way to tell your story. 

Share your stories with us! You can tag us @ROMToronto and use the hashtag #ROMTrailblazersor #ROMathome

Have a great week. We’ll be back next week with a full Gazetteer! Until then, keep tellin’ those stories.


More resources for talking to your kids about racism

Watch the entire CNN/Sesame Street racism town hall here.

A Black Lives Matter Principles Colouring Book

Kid Friendly Language for the Guiding Principles of the Movement for Black Lives, By Laleña Garcia

What is the difference between teaching inclusion and teaching anti-racism?
Source: Curious Parenting

The problem with strategies based solely on inclusivity and diversity is that they assume a level playing field for all. Anti-racism recognizes that racist beliefs have permeated our culture and created systemic problems. Rather than just talking about it, anti-racism asks that we actively work against it.“White parents especially don’t talk about [race], because they believe that kids should be colorblind. But studies show that as early as the age of 2 children begin to define people based on race.” – Ibram X. Kendi

A few years back, a black girl joined my classroom of mostly white two-year-olds halfway through the school year. Living in mostly-white Portland, meeting her was the first direct experience many of them had with someone who didn’t look like them. One child asked if her skin was dirty. Another child told her she couldn’t be Elsa, she could only be Moana. It is never too early to talk to kids about race. If we don’t do it, children of color have to bear the brunt of our silence.

For more resources on raising anti-racist kids, check out the resources The Conscious KidTeaching Tolerance, and Mamademics have created.

More books from our preschool shelf!