Spotlight: Leap Into Literacy Derrydown 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 focuses 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. 

Since I’ve only ever volunteered at the Branksome/Rose Avenue campus during my time at Leap, having the opportunity to visit the other campuses is a true privilege. At the Derrydown campus, the energy and enthusiasm is infectious and you’re always greeted with a smile. As one of the TDSB partner schools of the Leacock Foundation, Derrydown Public School (located at Keele and Finch) has hosted the Leap Into Literacy program for 12 years.

Similar to all Leap Into Literacy campuses, the teachers and staff at Derrydown are immensely dedicated and caring. During the first week of camp, I spoke to a teacher who expressed her favourite part of Leap: “I love watching the children spend their days learning in a fun, inclusive environment,” she stated. “It’s great being able to improve their literacy skills and get them ready for the coming school year.” In addition to the teachers and directors, the volunteers at Derrydown are equally enthusiastic and committed. The majority are grade 11 students who dedicate their entire summer to volunteering at Derrydown. Not only do they assist teachers in the classrooms, but they ensure field trips and activities run smoothly- always with a positive attitude.

The past few weeks at Derrydown have been exciting to say the least. One of the students’ favourite activities is swimming in the pool at Havergal College. Havergal, as the independent partner school of Derrydown, hosts the students for a few days each summer, letting them use their amazing facilities.

pool ddown

Swimming at Havergal’s pool is always a favourite activity.



This Thursday (July 16th) students will make their way back to Havergal for another day filled with fun, swimming, and learning. When at their own school, Derrydown students fully embrace technology and enjoy using their iPads. Campers especially enjoy using apps such as iMovie and PicCollage to exercise their creativity. Watching the students improve their literacy using a variety of mediums is always a pleasure.

In the library at Derrydown: using iPads for creative projects.

In the library at Derrydown: using iPads for creative projects.

Next week, along with the other two campuses, Derrydown students will participate in the year end celebration at Kortright Conservation Centre. It’ll be a great opportunity for students from different campuses to interact with each other and celebrate the end of a great summer. Until then, there are 2 more weeks of exciting Leap activities left. Check the blog again for another post this Friday to stay updated on all things Leap!

Posted in Education, Toronto, Youth Empowerment.