Great Soup… MONDAY!!!

What do I love about the ESA Community?  Generosity of time and spirit.

THANK YOU to everyone who heeded my plea yesterday on ESAInfo and has pledged food for Great Soup next Monday.  I have been so busy with Poetry in Voice that I let slide the publicity for Great Soup.  Had we had to cancel next Monday, there really isn’t another date between now and the end of the year.

So again…  Thank you.

Everyone in the ESA Community is invited to join us for a fabulous community luncheon.

  • Bring a bowl, a spoon and a mug…  Enjoy!

ESA’s SEEDS Me to We group has a tradition of serving community luncheons a couple of times a year.

  • Members of the ESA school community cook and bake – mostly vegetarian and vegan fare – and serve up a feast in the Library.
  • This is consistently one of the most anticipated fundraisers of the school year.

On average we serve over 100 people an all you can eat lunch of homemade salads, soups, breads and goodies.

  • For $6 per person, it’s hard to resist.
  • $5 per person with a donation to our Daily Bread Food Bank spring food drive.  Cooks eat for free!!

If you can help contribute food to this luncheon, please fill out this Google Form.

  • We are always also welcome to have extra hands for help with set-up and clean up (washing dishes!!!).
  • You may indicate such on the Google Form.

We will be contacting people on Saturday morning with all of the logistical details…

  • If you’ve contributed before, it will be same same.
  • If you’re new, we’ll fill you in on the routine…  which is pretty straight forward.

Poetry Month Workshops

We are delighted to announce that we have three (3) Visiting Poets coming into the school during Poetry Month.

  • David Silverberg (April 5th): Founder of the Toronto Poetry Slam
  • Moez Surani (April 26th): Moez’s poetry is noted for its lyricism, and he is likened to Leonard Cohen and Irving Layton.
  • Andrea Thompson (April 28th): Spoken Word artist, teaches at OCAD.

Complete details about these workshops may be found in this shared Google Doc titled ‘Student Invitation to Poetry Workshops.’

Students planning on attending these sessions must ‘Register’ in advance with either their English Teacher, or Ms. Wray.


Poetry in Voice: GTA Team Regionals

What a fabulous morning listening to 24 students from 8 schools across the GTA recite poems spanning the centuries from Shakespeare and Blake to some of Canada’s finest contemporary poets like Damian Rogers and Elizabeth Bachinsky.

Some truly exception performances, especially from 4 young ladies who are all heading to the National Finals in Vancouver in April.

The winning team was from the Toronto French School, while ESA’s team – Renee Withnell, Sama Konateh and Katie Beale – place a solid second.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success… from our brilliant tech crew, to our great house band, to our delightful hosts, and everyone else who came out to cheer on the students.

Even though you can’t be in Vancouver to cheer ESA’s Katie Beale on in person, I want to remind everyone that the Poetry In Voice National Finals for individual competitors will be held on April 19th and 20th in Vancouver. They will be live streamed on Poetry In Voice’s YouTube channel, so be sure to tune in.  I will be sure to post again closer to the date with a link.


Canada Reads: Day One

Got home, got myself unpacked in a hurry and settled in to listen to Canada Reads Day One.

Wow!  Just goes to show things don’t unfold the way you expect them to… and what a dramatic finish!

Poetry in Voice: Vancouver, here we come…

We have just received word regarding the results of the Poetry in Voice Online Semi-finals.
While our Bilingual champion, Isabel Wleugel is not moving on, our English champion, Katie Beale, has been invited to attend the National Finals in Vancouver in April.
I wish to extend, again, my congratulations to both young ladies for their hard work and wonderful recitations, and special good wishes to Katie as she prepares for Vancouver.

Allan Stratton @ ESA

Acclaimed Canadian playwright and novelist Allan Stratton – who was formerly also the Head of Drama at ESA way back when I first arrived in 1999 – spent the afternoon in the Library…  workshopping Grade 9 English students (with additional representation from Ms. Bourne’s Gr 12 Drama majors).

Do check Allan’s website, and if interested, we have most of his books in the collection at ESA.  Drop by and check one out…


Canada Reads: Student Contest

Hot off the presses!  At 3:55pm, on Friday March 10th, Canada Reads launched a new student competition on CBC Radio’s Here & Now.

  • The competition is simple! Students in Grades 7-12 enrolled in a school in the GTA are invited to make a written submission of 100-150 words, telling us a story about their favourite Toronto spot (neighbourhood, street corner, park, you name it)… We’re looking for stories that inspire us to explore our city and to see it through the eyes of young people.
  • The prize for the winning entry is a classroom visit from Canada Reads host, Ali Hassan and panellist, Humble The Poet—defender of Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis!

Get writing!!  Entries are due by 11:59pm on Monday March 20th.

If you submit…  please do consider sharing your story with the ESA Library…  so we can share them with the rest of the school.