Spotlight: Leap Into Literacy Branksome Campus

Written by: Alex Whang

Alex is a Grade 12 student and Leap Into Literacy’s official social media intern for summer 2015.  A previous volunteer at the Branksome Hall/Rose Avenue campus for two years, she is excited to be taking on this new role.

“Spotlight” is a new feature of the Leacock Foundation blog that will focus on a particular aspect of Leap Into Literacy. These aspects will range from specific campuses, to groups of people (e.g volunteers or teachers), to specific activities or field trips. Each “Spotlight” will give an in depth look into a certain area of Leap camp. 

Branksome Hall is an independent all-girls school located in down town Toronto. Since 2006, Branksome has hosted the Leap Into Literacy program for Rose Avenue students and more recently, for students from the First Nations School of Toronto as well.

As a volunteer at the Branksome campus for the past two years, I’ve observed the strong relationship that exists between Branksome and Rose Avenue. The staff and students from each school treat each other with respect and kindness, while Branksome is more than happy to host the students from Rose Avenue each summer. This summer is especially exciting as Branksome has opened their newly built Athletics and Wellness Centre (AWC) for the summer. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students especially love using the new AWC pool.


Students enjoying the new AWC pool during swimming. (Photo credit: Shirley Kim)

Students enjoying the new AWC pool during swimming. (Photo credit: Shirley Kim)

This week is an exciting one for the Branksome campus. On Monday, students participated in not one, but two interesting workshops. The first workshop hosted by Ms. Leah focused on storytelling and creative thinking. Students were divided into groups and each contributed an idea to create an original story, while also making mind maps by brainstorming specific story locations. More stories will be told and made this week as Ms. Leah will conduct a workshop every day until Friday.

The second workshop took place in the afternoon and was conducted by Rose Avenue teacher Roxy. Students used iPad apps such as Funny Movie Maker and Puppet Pals to create fun, short videos in small groups. After a successful work period, students shared their creations with teachers and each other. Yesterday, campers also embraced technology in the classroom as the grade 6 class researched Canadian athletes competing in the 2015 Pan Am games. They then created short videos with a variety of multimedia using Adobe Voice.

Yesterday’s storytelling workshop in the gym.


Other exciting activities at the Branksome campus this week include a visit to the Children’s Book Bank today and Thursday. Students will pick up more books to read over the summer to continue developing their literacy skills. Finally, Friday marks the halfway point of Leap camp where students will host an Open House to showcase their work over the past two weeks. Until then, this week at the Branksome campus will be filled with exciting activities and events. To stay updated on events specific to the Branksome campus, follow the Branksome/Rose Avenue blog run by campus director Shirley:

Posted in Education, Events, Leadership, Technology.