The Nook
Children’s Program

Bridging the gaps between home, school & community

1,202
program participants in the last year

14,755
snacks provided in the last year

38%
of Nook families are sole-support parents

The Nook Children's Program

The Nook
Children’s Program

Since our beginnings in 1996, The Nook has become one of the most diverse and inclusive children & family programs in Toronto. We are a supportive resource for both parents and children ages 5-12, providing free after-school, one-on-one and group programming aimed at increasing children’s confidence and creativity in literacy, recreation and the arts with a commitment to social justice. We also provide low cost March and Summer Programs to members of our community. Nook families include low-income community members, newcomers to Canada, sole-support parents and other vulnerable and marginalized groups.

March Break Camp

The Nook March Break Camp is a week long program open to all children within our community. Camp is $75.00 for the week per child, which includes two daily snacks and up to two field trips.

We put an emphasis on programming aimed at increasing children’s confidence, creativity and skill, particularly with regards to literacy, recreation and the arts. We do this by designing camp activities that involve visual arts, drama, music, dance, co-operative games, tournaments, team-building activities.  Parents interested in current or upcoming programming for our March Break Camp can contact us during registration, which begins in January of every year.

Summer Camp

The Nook Summer Camp is a low cost 6 week camp open to all children in the community.  
Camp is $75.00 for the week per child, which includes two daily snacks and up to two field trips.

The Nook has 3 camps to choose from:

  • 4-5 years olds: “Busy Bees” Campers explore the community through nature walks, interactive play, reading circles, hands-on arts & crafts and cooperative games.
  • 6-8 years old: Campers engage in a variety of activities including cooking, art, drama, sports and nature walks.
  • 9-13 years old: Campers take on a leadership role within the camp and our community. We will explore a variety of topics around anti-bullying, cliques, peer pressure and self-esteem.  Campers will have the opportunity to come up with one program to run for the younger children at the end of the each week.  Leadership campers will participate in a variety of arts, sport and community nature walks.

Summer Camp Registration begins in May of every year.

Parents Reaching Out

Parents Reaching Out is a free monthly workshop series for parents and guardians. Our monthly workshops are held based on a topics of interest
related to school, health and the well-being of our surrounding community.  Partnering with the Ministry of Education, our workshops help to build a bridge between parents and their children an effort to connect school, community and home-life. Some of the past topics include: Self-esteem building, Anti-Bullying,
Homework Support, Nutrition and Internet Safety.
Guest speakers at each event come from a range of professional backgrounds.  We have also had the opportunity of collaborating with Nook internship students, from programs such as programs such as Social Work, Child and Youth Care, and Community Work, to create innovative programming. They put a lot of research, planning and effort into running these workshops, which have become a proud addition to the Nook!  We are happy to provide participants with a free dinner and free childcare during the events.

We Nook, We Shoot, We Score

The Nook has an exciting new partnership with MLSE and JUST ENERGY to bring a free hockey program to children of the Nook and our surrounding community.  We are currently providing 45 children with free access to hockey equipment (ice hockey and floor hockey) free on-ice training and group or one on one coaching.  Our Hockey Program runs December through March at Christie Pits.

As part of the MLSE Partnership this year, Carlton the bear surprised Nook kids with MLSE Hockey experts in an hour long endurance challenge.  We learned how to skate forwards, backwards, stop, jump over our stuck and play as a team! Nook kids also received hockey jerseys and a Toronto Maple Leaf book.  We are so happy to provide inspiring experiences like this partnership for Nook kids and look forward to growing the program!

MLSE Foundation
Just Energy Foundation

Tweens Program

The Nook Tweens Program is a free afterschool program for youth ages 10-12.
Nook Tweens Program offers youth with the opportunity to:

  • Participate in a reading club. Tweens will have a book a month that we will read together and discuss weekly. Participants will get to keep a copy of the book at the end of the month.
  • Girls Group is a safe space for girls to talk about a variety of topics and situations they face on a day to day basis.
  • Youth will take on a leadership role with-in the program through Art, Sports and Literacy Programs.

TD Canada Trust
Friends of the Environment Foundation

In Partnership with TD Bank, Fiesta Farms and Lotus Cooperative Homes, The Nook Children have been learning about gardening by designing a butterfly garden from the ground up. We have also created an indoor herb garden which was used towards cooking club. We planted a variety of plants, bulbs and seeds while we learned about germination, bees, pollination and much more!

We are excited to expand our gardening skills and look forward to creating a vegetable garden for future growing seasons!

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Kids Up Front

Kids up front redistributes tickets to kids and families that might not otherwise get to attend these special events. Their mission is to provide access to arts, culture, sports and recreation to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity. The Nook Children’s Program has partnered with Kids Up Front to provide Nook Kids with once in a lifetime opportunities to attend concerts, sporting events and other popular Toronto attractions for free.
To date we have received over 250 tickets for Nook families to attend amazing concerts such as Sia, Pentatonix and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, plays like Matilda the Musical and sporting events such as the Marlies and Raptors 905 games. Our families are super grateful and excited to be a part of this partnership as it presents a fantastic way to get our kids involved in the arts and culture scene of our beautiful city!

Nook West

2017 will see the start of something new at the Nook! CONC is currently fundraising to bring Nook West to the new George Chuvalo Community Centre in the fall of 2017. This second children’s after school and camps program will bring a strong focus on S.T.E.M. and environmental programming and civic engagement, in addition to arts, recreation, literacy and social justice to children and families in the Junction Triangle and surrounding neighbourhoods, including Pelham Park.
We have heard from parents about the need for more accessible, inclusive and diverse children’s programming in the neighbourhood of George Chuvalo Community Centre. In addition to before/after school care and care on school breaks, we have heard interest in low-cost options for hosting birthday parties, tutoring sessions, music lessons and more.  If you have ideas, suggestions or questions, please contact Julia Gonsalves

Thank goodness for a safe place full of community!

Nook Parent

I must say that the Nook is amazing. I thought it might have been too much change for Kai to start after school care on top of adjustment to Grade 1 and our house situation, but going to the Nook is actually helping him for those and it was a good surprise to me!

Nook Parent

The Nook Program is a great asset for our children and those of the neighbouring schools. They facilitate both tutoring and mentoring for the children that participate by having great program leaders. The Nook Program also enhances our school and community relationships. They act as a resource, as well, for our staff, our parent communities and other community groups.

We at St. Raymond are very appreciative of this collaboration with the Nook Program. We have seen that this team effort fosters and promotes an active and meaningful role to the concept of school-community partnerships.

Teacher
St. Raymond Catholic School

Our Supporters

  • Wholefoods Yorkville
  • TCDSB
  • TDSB
  • First Book Canada
  • Sketch
  • Sport Chek
  • George Brown College
  • Humber College
  • Lund University
  • Mini Souls
  • Fionna Hannah
  • Fidoodle
  • Charlie and Gus
  • Parade and Company
  • Umbra
  • Wheatless and Meatless
  • EB Games
  • Fort
  • Black Bird Bistro
  • Mabel’s Bakery
  • Fiesta Farms
  • Cate and Levi
  • Second Harvest
  • Joe’s No Frills

© Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre. Charity Registration Number: 898720651RR0001

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