Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018-19, Horizons is a rewarding tutoring and mentoring partnership between students at Upper Canada College (Years 8 to 12) and elementary schools in Toronto.
The Horizons Program was created in 1999 as a partnership between Upper Canada College and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). It provides mutually beneficial learning opportunities and experiences for all the students involved.
Mentoring, tutoring and learning through play happens in a variety of eight-week programs throughout the school year, i.e. math, learn to skate, coding, art and lacrosse.
Through an interdisciplinary curriculum model, all students in the Middle Years Programme connect with a younger student who has special needs. They learn together in co-operative, play based activities, developing respect and enhancing empathy for others' experiences.
The Horizons Summer Program supports academically talented students from priority neighborhoods over a three-year period from Grade 7 to 9. The goal is to inspire continued positive community engagement and academic pursuits.
Summer Program graduates receive ongoing workshops to prepare for post-secondary education. Graduates meet regularly for discussions and opportunities to develop their many strengths.
Another aspect of our ongoing partnerships with schools is providing experiential engagement in such things as Horizons Hockey Night, Norval Outdoor School, the World Affairs Conference, Ontario Model United Nations, Horizons Computer Science Conference and Music Day.
Parents of UCC boys have opportunities to get involved with Horizons. Donation drives are held at the Prep twice a year, calling for winter clothes, books and sports equipment. For our most recent drive in 2017-18, schools supported included Lord Dufferin Public School and Winchester Public School.
Tom Lace ’06 spearheads an initiative for Old Boys to become involved as mentors for high-potential high school kids in the program. “The program had a huge impact on me,” says the investment analyst at Longview Asset Management. “There can be lots of red tape sometimes when you want to volunteer. This is a known community to Old Boys, a program with which they’ve already got some experience.” It is co-managed by alumni from UCC, the Bishop Strachan School and St. Clement's School, under the guidance of Horizons staff.