Thursday, April 26, 2012

Walk so Kids can Talk: A (passionate) word about Kids Help Phone

One of my ten year old son's parents has a passionate dedication to Kids Help Phone and I want to pass on her message below. If you can support in any way, please do so!

The Walk So Kids Can Talk event for Kids Help Phone is taking place May 6th. Mike, Tyler, Evan and I will be participating for the fourth year. This is a cause very close to my heart. I started volunteering for Kids Help Phone after the 15 year old nephew of a friend, committed suicide.

640 kids a day contact Kids Help Phone either by phone or online. That's 2.5 million kids per year (and 100,000 from our community alone!). Shouldn't we make sure that they can get the help they need if they are BRAVE enough to ask for it? Kids Help Phone can not keep up with the demand and may have to shut down the phone lines during peak crisis hours.

A $50 donation will help give two children an online counselling response. A $100 donation will help give one depressed child an hour with a counsellor. A $250 donation will help 6 homeless youths be connected with support services in their own community to begin a new chapter in life. A $500 donation will send awareness materials to 100 Canadian schools.

100% of donations made go to pay professional counsellors for their services to help kids.

I would hope that if my sons had a problem they would come to my husband or me.  BUT, realistically, I know that it doesn't matter how great your relationship with your kids is, there will be issues that they would not be comfortable discussing with their parents. I know I didn't always talk to my parents. Did you? I am so thankful that Kids Help Phone is available for my boys - someone who can help if they feel they don't have another choice.

If you would like to help the 2.5 million kids contacting Kids Help Phone 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, please click on the link below. It may be one of your own kids.Online pledges can be made securely with VISA, MasterCard, American Express or PayPal by clicking on the link below. An electronic tax receipt will be emailed to you within 24 hours.

Why not join us on Sunday, May 6? Online registration is free and only takes a few minutes. Visit for more information.

Thank you for your generosity,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baobab Tree Family Workshop

I see Baobab Tree as one of the gems of this neighbourhood. A little bit hidden away, not known to everyone, but doing amazing things both in Ottawa and in Africa!

This Saturday, April 28, there will be a family workshop in the studio (the Treehouse) from 10-11am.  The Treehouse is located at 415C Piccadilly Avenue, between Wellington and Byron and just east of Island Park Drive. The cost is $5 per person and pre-registration is required. To register, you can call or e-mail Hailey de Bie at 613-725-6994 or

The picture to the right is of Baobab Youth performers at the NAC (yes, they are that good!). The picture below is of a collection of northern drums.

For more information about the group generally, workshops, classes and performances, see

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend To-Do List

Face it, the weekend weather is not looking that great so why not get some chores done so you're ready to enjoy the good weather when it comes. And you'll benefit some great neighbourhood schools at the same time.

Recycle your electronics at Broadview School

Drop off on Friday, April 20 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m and on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school parking lot at 590 Broadview Avenue.  All funds raised will support the Yard Renewal project. You can find a list of acceptable items at

If you are unable to drop off items yourself, register online to have your items picked up.

Buy Soil!

At St. Francois D'Assise elementary school at 35 Melrose Avenue in Hintonburg. They are selling ORGANIC soil in the school parking lot from 10 until 1 on Saturday, April 21.

Sort out your books for Book Bonanza

Broadview School's 37th Annual Book Bonanza will run from May 10 - 12th.  You can drop off gently used books at the school starting May 3.  The school accepts adult and children’s books but no Harlequins, magazines, textbooks, encyclopedia,or Reader’s Digest condensed books. If you would prefer to have your books picked up, please contact Leslie McLean at or 728.3582

The sale, which is frankly one of the best in the City and which is a fantastic (but frugal) shopping adventure for kids, runs from May 10th 4pm - 9p.m., May 11th 9am - 9p.m. and May 12th 9a.m. -12p.m.

Sort out Kids' Toys, Clothing and Equipment for Elmdale Sale

Elmdale's annual spring sale will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12th. You want to be ready!

Watch for Food Bank Boxes

The Parkdale Food Bank has been running low on many products of late. Please consider

Eat a Burger, Buy a Book

Did you know that The Hintonburger at 991 Wellington will donate 50 cents from the sale of each burger-of-the-month to the Devonshire playground fund'  The Hintonburger's burgers are made with hormone-free local beef and are delicious!

Likewise, did you know that Collected Works, at 1242 Wellington, will donate 10% of each in-store or online purchase by Devonshire families to our playground project. Identify yourself as a Devonshire supporter and spread the word!

While Devonshire successfully raised funds to replace its play structure last year, there are still items on its wishlist for which it continues to fundraise.

Vote For Hilson School Outdoor Classroom

Hilson Avenue Public School is one of ten national finalists in the 2012 “Majesta Trees of Knowledge” Outdoor Classroom Competition! It is the only Ottawa area school in the running to win $20,000.00 from Majesta Canada to implement our outdoor classroom plan as part of our school yard greening project ~

it needs your votes to win - one per day until May 11. Please sign up and vote at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family Dance this Saturday!!

I admit to having never heard of Contra Dancing. Perhaps you're more in the know than me. What I can tell you is that it's happening this weekend in your neighbourhood, it sounds like a lot of fun and a great way for families to share and encourage a love of music....and just try something new and get those wiggles out!

Contra dancing is social dancing with live music and callers or teachers. This weekend's Contra Dance is brought to you by and will be held at the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre at 345 Richmond Road on Saturday, April 21st from 3:30-5:30pm!

This is first and foremost a FAMILY DANCE for kids and their parents.  There will be live music by the Three Dollar Bills (fiddle, irish flute, & guitar) and callers who call (or teach) basic kid-friendly dances.  The callers are Catherine Burns and Liz Benjamin (who I know from past Music Together classes).

There is NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!! Family dances are for all ages - recommended for 5+ but younger can definitely participate (plus wee wee ones can participate in backpacks or slings).

Kids are free, $5 for adults.

For more information on the dance and on contra dancing generally, please visit

And for a general website on What is Contra Dancing, see  As the author says "Although it's fun beyond words, we explain it ad nauseum anyway."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Letter from the Broadview School Council Chairs

I'm posting the below just in case you have not seen it elsewhere.  Important issues are being raised about Broadview school and the state of the City's schools generally.  The issues are important for both present and future Broadview parents but also for all other OCDSB schools, students and parents as well as the community at large.

Dear Broadview Community,

Many of you have probably seen the recent media coverage of the campaign to rebuild Broadview. This is a result of the OCDSB’s Business Services Committee meeting from March 28 where Jennifer McKenzie requested an amendment to move us from our current position on the capital priority list as a $4 million renovation to a rebuild. After a lengthy debate of more than four hours, 7 of the 12 Trustees voted in favor of a rebuild for Broadview, giving us a majority vote. Unfortunately, the meeting was adjourned before the vote was ratified. Trustee Donna Blackburn in particular has been criticized for her support of the Broadview rebuild.

The critical state at Broadview remains unchanged. Feedback from the community has consistently been in favor of a rebuild. The facts are:

The OCDSB identified in their own reports a need for repairs in the amount of $7.5 million.

To accommodate full day kindergarten, a seventh addition onto our school at a cost of $1.5 million is being proposed by the Board.

$4 million proposed in repair funds for Broadview would still leave the school, by the Board’s own assessment, in a “critical” state.

It’s an 85-year old building that has been neglected for years.

The Broadview School Council and the Build a Better Broadview subcommittee will continue to work closely with MPP Yasir Naqvi and Trustee Jennifer McKenzie in the best interests of our students and teachers. We look forward to creating a long-term vision for Broadview that supports the needs of our growing community.

How You Can Help!

The next OCDSB meeting is Monday, April 30 in the Trustees Committee Room, 133 Greenbank Rd. The vote to move Broadview to the capital priority list for a rebuild will take place at this time. Please make time to attend this meeting and support our school!

Full-Day Kindergarten

Full day kindergarten remains scheduled for Broadview for 2013. The current OCDSB plan is to invest $1.5 million to add on a seventh addition to the school. While no plans have been finalized with regards to how full day kindergarten will be implemented in 2013, the School Council feels that the full day kindergarten plan should be part of a long term vision for Broadview. A community meeting will be scheduled in May looking for your feedback. Please attend and help us create a long term vision for Broadview.

We are continuing to update the Build a Better Broadview website with new information. However, please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or to get involved.

Thank you for your continued support.

Liz Burgess and Claire Todd
Co-Chairs, Broadview School Council

Build a Better Broadview website:
follow our group on Facebook (Build a Better Broadview) and Twitter @Build_Broadview