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family values

New UCC parents step up to support campaign priorities

New UCC parents are stepping up to help us reach our campaign goals. Their reasons are inspiring and illustrate the momentum that can be achieved with a common belief in shared values:

The Watt family donates to model ‘core values’ to sons

UCC prep students Taylor and Shane Watt are twins. At their third birthday party, 20 friends brought two gifts each. Do the math. Shocked by the pile of 40 gifts, parents Ellen and Graeme decided that going forward the boys would select a charity and ask their friends to donate, rather than receiving gifts for themselves.

“It’s one of our core family values, to help others,” says Ellen. “We didn’t want the boys to grow up with the expectation they’re entitled to 40 presents for every birthday.”

That’s the reason why the Watt family, whose boys entered the Prep in Grade 6 last September, have already made two gifts to the College — $2,500 to the College Priority Fund last December and $10,000 in support of the Intermediate Division’s renovations in April. The College has currently raised $582,000 towards a goal of $1 million for that project by June 30. The funds will be directed towards renovations of the second floor classrooms in the Upper School, including ergonomic and flexible desks and chairs, new lighting systems and updated heating and cooling systems.

The family was impressed by the plans for the “iDiv” renovations (slated for completion by September), especially the flexible furniture to allow for either team or individual learning configurations, she says.

“We’re always looking for ways in which our charitable gifts can make the most impact for the most people,” says Ellen. “And we’re big proponents of modelling behavior to our children; education is paramount.”

Shane and Taylor “hit the ground running” when they arrived at UCC from Sterling Hall. Although it was UCC’s International Baccalaureate offering that appealed to Ellen and Graeme, the final choice was left to the boys.

“As a family we wondered about transitioning from a small to large school and were extremely impressed with the UCC on-boarding process and the engagement of the parent community,” she explains. “We know we made the right decision. The teachers at UCC are inspiring our boys to be the best they can be whether it is academics, music, arts or sports. We are very impressed with the boys’ involvement in their parent-teacher interviews, taking responsibility for presenting their self-assessments of strengths, weaknesses and next step improvements. Also, as athletes they are learning the value of sportsmanship and teamwork from their coaches and peers through playing softball, soccer and basketball.”

Above all however, says Ellen, it’s about character development. “We see UCC as our partner in helping us to develop and instil our core family value of helping others over the next few years and beyond.”

Senior Kindergarten Class reaches 100 per cent participation

It’s a UCC milestone and we’re delighted to report the great news. Congratulations and thank you to the parents in the Senior Kindergarten class for reaching 100 per cent participation in the UCC Fund. This is the first time in several years that a class has reached 100 per cent participation in donating to the UCC Fund.

Thank you to Martha Simmons, parent of Logan Simmons, for being the class ambassador for the UCC Fund for the SK Class.

If you’d like more information on participating in the UCC fund please contact Joanne Weedmark at or 416-488-1125 ext 2000.
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