McNeil Drops In On Evolutionary Band To Surprise One of Her Biggest
For A Day Program Has Many Benefits For All Participants
Literacy Night At RedwoodPublic SchoolPromotes Writing Skills
Open House Is Always A Big Hit With The Entire Family
Canadian Recording Artist Heather Dale
Stops In Sudbury For Concert On November
Hanmer's Eric Ouellette Begins The
Most Important Race of His Life
An Exciting Life As An International
Model Could Be In Store For Valley
East's Erin Malinski
Sudbury Public Library Offers A Teen
Advisory Group to Local Students
11 Students Adam Leger and Erica Richard
Begin Term as Co-Prime Ministers of the
Confederation Secondary School
Official - Evolutionary Holds The
Guinness World Record For The Deepest
The March Break Is A Perfect Time To
Check Out Private Tutoring Options For
At Only $40 Per Week, Private Tutoring Is Now A Real
Option For Every ChilD
Laurentian University Tuitions Going Up
Again For 2007-2008 School Year
There is No Need For Any Child To Struggle
York Region District School Board Creates
After-School Tutoring Program As Alternative For Parents
More and More Parents Turning To Private
Tutors To Give Their Children One-on-One Guidance
Author of Boom, Bust & Echo Warns
Against Overreacting To Increased University Enrolment
A School Nutrition Plan Would Be Well
Worth The Money To Improve Learning In The Country's
The Value Placed On Early Childhood
Development Is Being Recognized As A Clear Indicator of
The Future Of Canada
School Bus Safety Must Be Enforced -
The Public Can Help Keep Our Children Safe
Mentors Will Help You Succeed In
Many Baby Boomers Looking To Golden Years
For Personal Fulfillment In New Careers
Graduate Programs Being Offered By
Universities As Students Realize That A
B.A. May Not Be Enough!
Minimum Wage Increase to $8.00 Per
Hour On February 1, 2007 Won't Help Fill
Vacancies In Retail Stores
Federal Report Warns That Canada Is
Training Too Few Workers To Compete
Incentives Will Be Provided To Lure
Highly Qualified People As Supply Falls
Short of Demand
One Lady's Story Demonstrates How Hard
It Can Be Without An Education And A
Proper Career Plan In Place
Visit To Former
Home Town During The Holidays Brought Back Fond Memories Of A
Simpler Way of Life
McNeil Drops In On Evolutionary Band To Surprise One of Her Biggest
It was just a normal practice session for
Confederation’s Evolutionary Band after school on Wednesday, October 26.
Courtney Tattersall, shown in the photo above, one of the senior lead
singers on the band had just completed performing a song with her band
that was originally recorded by Suzie McNeil. After the song, Music
director, Norm McIntosh, asked Courtney to tell the rest of the group why
she liked that song so much. Courtney was more than happy to express her
love of the young rock star and proceeded to explain to the rest of the
band how much she enjoyed her music.
At that point, Mr. McIntosh, who has been known for shocking the bank with
guests dropping in to see them during rehearsals, said, “Well, Courtney,
if you like her music so much, why don’t you tell Suzie McNeil herself
just how you feel.”
Then, to the total surprise of everyone in the room,
out of the darkness stepped Courney’s idol, Suzie McNeil herself. After
Courtney recomposed herself, McNeil asked Courtney to join her in singing
the song that she had just performed so beautifully in front of the star.
Throughout the years Suzie McNeil has accumulated an
impressive array of musical accomplishments and has performed with some of
the top stars in the business, even appearing in front of a crowd of over
200,000. She received much acclaim at the end of 2005 when she was the
last woman standing onCBS
Television’s reality series Rockstar:INXS.
the spring of 2007 she released her first CD “Broken and Beautiful”
and this fall she worked with
to produce an Olympics inspired video of her hit song, “Believe”,
which is being considered as the possible “theme song” for the 2008
Winter Games being held in
Suzie talked to the
band for a while, signed some autographs and then headed off to the Grand
Theater for an evening performance in
For Courtney Tattersall, it will likely be remembered as a defining
moment in her singing career, performing with her favourite, Suzie McNeil,
live on the set of Evolutionary. Before she left, Suzie told the band that
what she has learned from being a performer is that “the energy you put
out there is the energy you get back”. She encouraged the high school
students to adopt that philosophy in everything they do. Before she left
Suzie signed the autograph board for 2007 with the message: “Continue
the Evolution Revolution”.
For A Day Program Has Many Benefits For All Participants
For Chris Scagnetti, President of Saturn
of Sudbury, shown standing on the right, the opportunity to become
“Principal For A Day” at
in Val Therese was something “I just couldn’t pass up.”
Others in the photo
with him include “the real principal, Jacques Mantha, along with three
Grade 7 students who were enjoying a very interesting discussion with Mr.
Scagnetti about possible careers in the automotive industry. The students,
from the left included Cody Boileau, Jesse Dordevic, and Jesse Lampsa.
“The primary purpose of the Principal for a Day program is to
link schools with the communities that they serve,” says Rainbow
District School Board Chair Dena Morrison. “Community leaders will spend
the day learning about the multiple roles that school principals play,
from instructional leadership to the management of school facilities. In
the process, they will gain a better understanding of what¹s happening in
“Our community is
keenly aware that we need an excellent educational system to prepare our
future workforce,” says Director of Education Jean Hanson. “By
engaging community leaders in public education, we hope to mobilize the
expertise and resources of our community to develop powerful partnerships
to improve learning opportunities for students in Rainbow Schools. We want
to give community leaders as realistic a view as possible of a day in the
life of a
“At Saturn we’ve
been involved in many youth-oriented initiatives that have been designed
to provide children with safe places to play and enjoy the experiences
that are part of growing up,” explained Scagnetti. “We sponsor
projects like Saturn Kidspace that improve playground facilities and we
take part in the “Ugliest Schoolyard Contest” which was actually won
by Pinecrest last year. Because they won the first place prize, Pinecrest
is receiving a $20,000 landscaping upgrade.”
Scagnetti himself is
part of a very active family. He and his wife are raising two sons who are
involved in hockey and numerous other school-based activities. “The more
my children get involved, the more I realize how fortunate I was to grow
up at a time when there seemed to be money for everything. Our parks,
arenas, recreation facilities were all pretty well new when I was young
and we all spent hours every day on outdoor rinks, riding our bikes in
parks and just enjoying our youth. Today, children have many more
technological advantages that we didn’t have, but I find that their
outdoor-based activities are limited.That is why Saturn is focusing its efforts on improving these
outdoor facilities and promoting the development of playgrounds and parks.
Chris Scagnetti pointed
out that initiatives such as the “Principal For A Day” program go a
long way to establishing the kind of positive relationship that is going
to be needed by our schools and our young people in the future. “If we
are truly going to help our children get the most out of their education,
then more and more of us from the private sector are going to have to step
forward and provide the necessary support to our school programs. Spending
a day in the school like this convinces me that anything I can do to help
is well worth the investment in our future.”
Literacy Night At RedwoodPublic School Promotes Writing Skills
MacKenzie, one of the two “Literacy Teachers” at
is shown working with Grade 2 student, Kyle, on some of his writing
skills. On Thursday, October 25, from
, Kellie and her colleague, Monica MacMillan, will be coordinating the 2nd
Annual Family Literacy Night for parents and children of the entire
“Our theme this year
is ‘Writing Through The Arts’, “explained Ms MacKenzie. “We will
be offering five different 20-minute workshops that will be lead by
experts who will take parents and their children through an interactive
experience designed to promote writing skills.”
evening will feature Nancy Gareth-Coulombe from the
, Chuck Roberts using music as a writing tool, story writing with Michelle
Walton and Miss Hallman as well as a “Book Fair” where parents can
purchase or order some excellent reading resources for their children.
Family Literacy Night is open to all parents and children of the community
and is free of charge. Just drop in to
4625 Carl Street
in Hanmer. You can call 969-4435 for more information. Writing is one of
those communication skills that is so valuable today and anything parents
can do to encourage a love of writing in their children is well worth the
time and effort.
Open House Is Always A Big Hit With The Entire Family
On September 13, 2007RedwoodAcresPublic School held their annual Open House.This year featured a circus theme with face painting, juggling and
clowns.It was a huge success
with parents coming with their children to see their classrooms and meet
their teachers.Below are
moments captured at the event.
Below, Cody, the son of Educational Assistant Mrs.
Olivier, juggles teddy bears.
“My mom came to conference with my
teacher, I came for the popcorn” says Lauren Oliver below.
Mrs. Mackenzie LRT teacher at Redwood
Acres handed out lollipops to children.
Canadian Recording Artist Heather
Dale Stops In Sudbury For Concert On November 22
Dale is a Canadian recording artist with Celtic roots, currently on tour
to support her Christmas album "This Endris Night".
This CD takes a joyful, thoughtful look at traditional holiday songs from
the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Heather’s voice is clearly
influenced by Celtic traditions, along with jazz and folk, and her music
is reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt and Steeleye Span. Heather
regularly tours in North America and Europe. "Heather Dale
soars... an unabashed and uninhibited romantic who has found her voice and
her musical wings” (Toronto Star).
Heather Dale will be presenting a series of special holiday concerts this
November and December, with performances in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This special 18-date tour will
showcase Celtic-flavoured interpretations of traditional Christmas carols,
along with a selection of original songs from Heather’s six recordings.
The concerts are family-friendly, with a good mix of upbeat and softer
material. “We have so much fun at these shows, since it’s such a
joyful time of year,” says Heather. “But I also like to focus on
the simplicity and beauty of the original Christmas story, as it was told
before the Big Box Stores took over the season.”
Each concert features over a dozen instruments, all played by Heather
Dale and Ben Deschamps. Along with double bass, guitar and
piano, Heather and Ben bring out a whole host of smaller folk instruments
during their sets: mountain dulcimer, Irish flute, violin, bodhran drum,
tin whistles... often played in unusual ways. They also offer
surprisingly contemporary twists on old favourites, whether it’s putting
a 14th century carol into New Orleans ragtime, or evoking a swirling
snowscape with double bass and tiny bells. An evening of enchantment
and delight -- great for all ages!
Thu Nov 15 Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (Thunder Bay,
Fri Nov 16 The Bhigg House concert series (Winnipeg, MB)
Sat Nov 17 The Bhigg House concert series (Winnipeg, MB)
Wed Nov 21 Loplops Lounge & Gallery (Sault Ste
Marie, ON) Thu Nov 22 Church of the Epiphany
Fri Nov 23 Orillia Folk Club (Orillia, ON)
Sat Nov 24 Moonshine Cafe (Oakville, ON)
Sun Nov 25 The Rhino Craft & Music Fair (Toronto,
Tue Nov 27 Grace Presbyterian Church (Scarborough, ON)
Wed Nov 28 Princess Margaret Hospital - Music in the
Atrium concert series (Toronto, ON)
Fri Nov 30 Old Town Hall concert series (Waterford, ON)
Sat Dec 1 Waterloo Community Arts Centre (Waterloo, ON)
Fri Dec 7 CFMU concert series - opening for David
Francey (Hamilton, ON)
Sat Dec 8 Yellow Door Coffee House (Montreal, QC)
Sun Dec 9 Glebe St. James Church concert series
Wed Dec 12 All Saints Anglican Church (St. Andrews, NB)
Thu Dec 13 The Blue Olive (Saint John, NB)
Fri Dec 14 St. John's United Church (Halifax, NS)
Tue Dec 18 Charlotte Street Arts Centre (Fredericton,
An Exciting Life
As An International Model Could Be In Store For Valley East's Erin
Fifteen year old Erin Malinski (this article was written in
September 2007) is shown reading over the program just prior to taking
part in the First Annual Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre Fall Fashion Show
on September 9, 2007. For Erin, shown below as the lead model, must
minutes from opening the show, every opportunity to get experience in
front of audiences is an important step in her career development program.
Erin, who attends Grade 10 at College Notre Dame in Sudbury, seems to
have been born to be a model. In fact, during a recent interview, Erin
herself feels that while most successful models can be coached and trained
to refine their talents, "You must have a certain kind of personality
to be a high level model. It must be present in everything you do. When
people look at you they should see you as a "model" just by the
way you act and carry yourself, and I don't mean that in a negative way. I
mean that you can just tell someone has what it takes to be a model."
Erin's father, Ed, a retired school teacher agrees, "I think I
knew there was something special about Erin right from the day she was
born. Even before she began school she was always trying on clothes and
always extremely particular about the way she looked. She was our only
daughter, so naturally my wife and I dressed her in the finest outfits and
enjoyed seeing her in pretty clothes, but she just took to it naturally.
She has been interested in her appearance and in clothes all along, and I
can say as a proud father that she has done all of this while remaining
very down to earth and being just a plain ordinary good person. But there
is something special about her and I can say that I think she was born
with this gift."
Erin's life as a potential career model moved to a higher
level this year while attending the Canadian Modeling Talent Convention.
She displayed her talents with 500 other aspiring teen models and was
selected (equivalent to the drafting process in hockey) by seven different
agencies from Toronto, New York, Taiwan, Paris, London and Los Angeles.
These agencies will be watching Erin's development over the next few years
until she turns 18 and is eligible to sign a professional modeling
contract. She is now in the hands of Mrs. Florence Gauvreau who will
continue grooming her for a possible career.
For Erin, it will mean a steady stream of events such as the one at the
Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre where she will get as much exposure as
possible and sharpen her presentation skills on stage. These practices
will give her the experiences she needs in order to mature into a
profession which is extremely demanding and short-lived.
"I know it is going to be a tough career," explained Erin.
"It is very competitive among the top models in the world and you
have to be at the top of your game to be successful. I also know that my
career won't last forever on stage, but after you are finished with the
"runway" part of your career you can still continue as a model
in advertising for catalogues and magazines. I also want to finish my
degree in psychology and perhaps open a practice helping young models cope
with the emotional side of the business. I have thought about staying in
business as an agent as well."
For now, Erin will continue to be a normal 15 year old who is heading
towards a career she loves. She will take advantage of every opportunity
to get in front of people in order to experience every type of situation
and every kind of condition. All of it will serve its purpose in
developing the "entire package". Her outgoing personality; her
ability to take criticism; her ongoing concern about her appearance; and
her unwavering morals and personal standards should take her a long way to
a contract when she turns 18.
Ouellette Begins The Most Important Race of His Life
Eric Ouellette's career goal is to become a physiotherapist
when he finally finishes his formal education. He plans on beginning his
undergraduate degree in Kineisiology at Lake Superior State University in
the spring as part of the Lake Superior State University varsity track and
cross country teams on a full-scholarship valued at $60,000 over four
years, but one little thing stands in his way - the SAT entrance test that
must be passed before he is accepted into the university.
In the photo above, Eric is shown going over some of the practice tests
in preparation for writing the test in November 2007. He plans on getting
some assistance from David DiCarlantonio, a Personal Tutor through The
Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic. David and Eric will be spending about
four hours a week studying for the test.
Eric is one of the top mid-distance runners for his age in
the country. While attending College Notre Dame in Sudbury, Eric made a
name for himself in the 400 and 800 metre races, clearly establishing
himself as a National Level runner in the top eight in Canada. He was a
member of Team Ontario during the summer of 2007, competing in the Eastern
Canadian ESPOIR Meet in St. John/s Newfoundland where he came home with a
gold medal in the 4 x 400 relay and 4th place finishes in each of the 400
and 800 m races.
Eric started out his athletic career as a mediocre runner in the 100
and 200 metre sprints. In Grade 8 he moved to the 400 and 800 metre
distances and instantly loved it. He has played hockey while at College
Notre Dame, but his true love is running. He has developed his skills
under the watchful eyes of his personal coach Darren Jermyn as well as
other local coaches in town, such as Dick Moss from Laurentian
"I like doing things myself and when you are running you are all
alone," explained Eric. "You have to push yourself and train
hard because when the race begins you can't depend on your teammates. It
is you against the clock and against other runners."
The head coach of the track team at Lake Superior State University,
Steve Ellis, is a former resident of Sudbury so he pays particular
attention to local athletes. He liked what he saw in Eric and hence
offered the full scholarship to become a member of the team.
Once he passes the SAT test, Eric will head to the university to begin
training for the spring season. If you compare hockey to -the world of
running, Eric is considered somewhere between the OHL and N.H.L.. He will
therefore spend the next four years developing his skills and competing
with some of the top runners on the continent with the dream of one day
earning a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team.
We all wish Eric the best of luck as he begins the most important race
of his life.
Sudbury Public Library Offers A Teen Advisory Group to Local
The Greater Sudbury Public Library is looking for teens in grades 7 to
What do they do...
- Meet monthly
- Suggest items for the library to buy
- Plan and promote teen library programs
- Discuss teen trends and school events
- Talk about favourite books, movies, music, computer games, magazines...
Grade 11 Students Adam Leger and
Erica Richard Begin Term as Co-Prime Ministers of the Confederation
Secondary School Parliament
While acknowledging that it is unusual for
Grade 11 students to be appointed to the position of Prime Minister of the
Confederation Secondary School Student Parliament, both Adam Leger and
Erica Richard are confident that as Co-Prime Ministers they will be able
to combine their resources and talents to provide effective leadership to
the student body this year.
The main goals of the Parliament this year are to improve the overall
level of school spirit in all areas and help get the school more involved
in the community of Valley East. They both agree that secondary school
students must improve the public image of youth in general and this can be
done by getting involved in more positive activities outside of the
boundaries of the school. They also hope to revive the popular school
dances and bring back a winter carnival in January or February.
Both Adam and Erica are graduates of Valley View Public School and are
continuing their French Immersion program in high school. Adam hopes one
day to be a teacher, although he is entertaining some thoughts about
getting into politics. Erica plans on pursuing a career in journalism or
It's Official - Evolutionary Holds
The Guinness World Record For The Deepest Underground Concert
Mayor John Rodriguez was on hand to present the
plaque confirming that Confederation Secondary School's Evolutionary Band
has been recognized as World Record Holders for their underground concert
performed at Copper Cliff's North Mine on April 27, 2007. Accepting the
plaque on behalf of the band was music director Norm McIntosh as many
members of the band looked on from the seats in the school amphitheatre.
Referring to the moment as a "significant
moment in the life of each and every student", Norm McIntosh held up
a certificate that was about to be presented to the band members from
Shelley Martel's office, and make it very clear that, "I want you to
put this certificate in a glass frame and hang it on your bedroom wall.
This is something that no one can ever take away from you. You have
accomplished something that very few people living on this earth will ever
achieve. But there are two other certificates that you must add to the
collection. The first is your high school diploma and the second is your
university or college diploma. No one can take those away from you
The formal certificate, shown above, states:
The deepest concert underground was at
742 m (2,434.4 feet) below sea level at 3,400 Level of CVRD Inco's Copper
Cliff North Mine, Copper Cliff, Ontario, Canada and was performed by
Evolutionary Band (Canada) on 27 April 2007.
"We commend Evolutionary for, once again, putting Greater Sudbury
on the map," said Rainbow District School Board Chair Dena Morrison.
"Having an official world record to their credit is an outstanding
achievement. We thank our partners at CVRD Inco for giving our students
the opportunity of a lifetime."
The world record concert was broadcast live from coast to coast on
CTV's Canada AM. In a recent email message to the school, host Jeff
Hutcheson said, "I just wanted to say congratulations from all of us
here at Canada AM, and thanks so much for allowing us to be a part of this
wonderful accomplishment. It was a broadcast I'll never forget, punctuated
by the enthusiasm, dedication and talent of all of those connected with
the band program at Confederation Secondary School."
Members of the band can be seen seated in the
section of the amphitheatre behind Principal, Mike Mirka, fifth from the
left in the front row. The amphitheatre was filled with proud parents and
grandparents, brothers and sisters who attended the special press
conference to announce the official recognition of the world record. The
students spent almost 15 hours underground setting up and playing their
hour-long set to establish the record.
Also in attendance, shown 2nd and 3rd from the left, were the producers
of a special 70-minute "rock-umentary" on Evolutionary which was
to be featured during this year's Cinefest Sudbury International Film
Festival. Gregory Tremblay and Woody Hackett own M-Potent Productions and
Seat of the Pants Productions of Sudbury. The two local filmmakers spent a
year filming performances and behind the scenes activities of the band
members in putting together the documentary.
For Norm McIntosh, winner of the inaugural Music Teacher of the Year
Award sponsored by the Rolling Stones, this was one of the proudest
moments he has ever had in his career, "It's an honour for me to be
in the presence of a world record holder. Thank you for believing in me
and for coming with me that day."
The March Break
Is A Perfect Time To Check Out Private Tutoring Options For Your
by Robert Kirwan
Elementary and Secondary schools start their March Break on March 9! For
parents, this is a perfect time of year to check out the private tutoring
options that are available at The Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic which is
located at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. For an investment of only
$40 a week you can move into the last part of the school year knowing that
you’ve given your son or daughter a better chance of successfully
completing all of his/her courses and programs this year.
If you would like to
talk to me about finding a suitable private tutor for your child, take
some during the week to contact me and discover just how easy and
inexpensive it is to acquire the services of a personal tutor to work with
you finish reading this article, make sure you go to the web site at
www.thelearningclinic.ca . Finding the right tutor for your child can be
done in three simple steps:
FIRST STEP: The first thing I will do is meet with you and your
child, preferably at your home, to collect as much information as possible
so that I can compile a comprehensive profile of your son or daughter
which will include, among other things; the current status with respect to
age, grade level, learning difficulties, challenges, etc.; your overall
expectations as a parent about the desired outcomes of the tutoring
program; and any other relevant details about your child or situation of
which a prospective tutor should be aware.
Once I have enough
information to prepare a student profile, I will be able to establish the
general "baseline" position of your child so that we know our
A preliminary plan of
action will then be developed which will form the framework within which a
private tutor will be asked to operate. This will include such
organizational components as the days and times of instruction; the
frequency of instruction; a tentative schedule; and the nature of the
instruction sessions. All of this will be subject to your approval as the
SECOND STEP: The next stage of the process is for me to make
contact with potential tutors who have the necessary skills and attributes
for your child's situation. Each prospective tutor will have a clear
understanding of your expectations as a parent, and also of the terms and
conditions within which he/she may be operating.This is the most critical step in the entire process since the
tutor will be ultimately responsible for implementing the final plan of
action and for providing the all important guidance for your child.
STEP: Once I am satisfied that I have found a suitable tutor for your
child, I will arrange for another meeting at your home to introduce the
tutor to you and your child. Besides allowing all parties to become
acquainted and to confirm the pertinent details about your child's
program, it will also provide you with an opportunity to conduct an
informal "interview" so that you are completely satisfied with
the tutor who has been selected.If,
for whatever reason you are not completely satisfied with the tutor, you
will let me know after the meeting is over and I will then find another
tutor for your child.
INVESTING IN YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION is important so it is
imperative for you as a parent to be certain that you are doing everything
possible to ensure that your son or daughter is getting the most out of
his/her learning experiences.Hiring
a Personal Tutor makes a lot of sense today and when you look at the
relative low cost, you can see that there are many other things you buy
over the course of a year that pale in comparison to the return on
investment of a personal tutor for your son or daughter. Call me today and
let’s get the process started. Your child’s future could be totally
changed with just one phone call. Make that call today.
At Only $40 Per Week, Private Tutoring Is Now A Real
Option For Every Child
There is absolutely no better form of tutoring for a student than
one-on-one instruction by a qualified, professional learning coach who is
willing to come right into your own home to work within the very same
conditions that your child experiences every day. That is not only my
opinion, but also the opinion of just about every other education expert
you will come across.
establishing the Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic, with its head office at
the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre, I have been able to develop a system
whereby most children within the entire City of Greater Sudbury now have
access to private in-home tutoring for an amazing price of only $40 a week
– almost half of what they can expect to pay at some of the commercial
centers in the region where you are expected to bring your child to the
center to work in groups of three with a variety of tutors.
In return for this $40
per week investment, parents will have one ninety (90) minute, one-on-one
instruction session in their home every week. The tutor will be someone
who is qualified and skilled in the subject matter that your child
requires. The tutor will not only provide guidance and assistance to your
child during the ninety minute session, but he/she will also be available
for phone and/or email enquiries in between sessions. If your child has a
question that needs to be answered right away, he/she does not have to
wait for the next session. Help is only a phone call away.
Most importantly, the
tutoring instruction will be directly related to what your child is
actually taking in school right now! Each session will begin with a review
of the past week to deal with any problems that may have arisen. The rest
of the session will involve the development of skills that will be covered
in upcoming weeks in order to make sure that your child experiences
maximum success in the classroom, thus increasing his/her confidence and
self-esteem. The main goal of the tutor is to help your child get the
highest marks possible in order to move on to the next grade level. By
focusing on “where your child is going” rather than on “where your
child has been”, we can cover all of the previous weaknesses while
helping your child make sense out of the current curriculum. The tutor
will even review your child’s progress with you every week.
I will personally meet
with the parents and their child prior to any instruction taking place.
During this diagnostic and preliminary planning session we will discuss
all of the relevant details about your child so that we can develop a
comprehensive profile from which to create an effective plan of action. I
will then find a suitable tutor for your child and continue to monitor the
progress your child is making. We want to ensure total success for your
child, regardless of his/her age or individual learning needs.
Your next step is to
either give me a phone call or visit my web site at the address below.
Once you are absolutely convinced that this is a good investment in the
future of your child, we will begin the process. I guarantee this is
something you won’t regret! Call me today at my office during the day at
524-7006 or at home in the evenings at 969-7215.
University Tuitions Going Up Again For 2007-2008 School Year
University's 26-member board of governors have voted to increase tuition
fees by a minimum of four per cent for the 2007-2008 school year.
Laurentian Student General Assembly president Luke Norton, spoke against
the hike at the board meeting yesterday, but was able to convince board
members to pass a motion calling for a committee to be created with
representation from the board, faculty and students that will lobby the
government for money aimed at reducing the impact of tuition fees.
"Even though tuition is going to go up, we feel that we have really
achieved something special today," Norton said following the meeting.
"We will now work together to lobby the government and show that we
all want something done to address the situation."
The hike is four per cent for undergraduate and international students.
For graduate students, the hike will be eight per cent in the first year
and four per cent for each subsequent year.
The increase would bring one-year tuition for undergraduate students to
$4,525 from the current $4,351, a hike of $174. The actual tuition hike
for international students will be $424.
Tuition fees form the major portion of the cost of attending Laurentian,
but there is a significant amount collected in other student fees, such as
for the Student General Association, the school newspaper, health
benefits, and of course the Universal Bus Pass. With all of the extra fees
added in, the amount each student pays is more like $6000 or more per
There Is No Need For Any Child To Struggle In School
During my entire 28 year career as a teacher, I can honestly say
that EVERY, I repeat, EVERY student I taught could have improved their
grades and developed stronger learning skills with the help and guidance
of a private tutor who would meet them in their home for a 90-minute
session every week or two. I’m not only referring to the students who
had difficulty learning; I’m also referring to the brightest and most
gifted children I ever taught. In fact, the gifted child is often more in
need of a tutor in order to help him/her realize even higher levels of
accomplishment and achievement. For example, it takes a lot more effort
for a student to go from 90% to 95% than it does for a student to go from
50% to 55%.
Even though I’ve been
out of the classroom for almost six years, I have continued to maintain a
close watch on what has been happening in our public education system.
What I have witnessed is alarming to say the least. Never before in the
history of our province have classroom teachers been faced with so many
extreme challenges in fulfilling their responsibilities to their students!
Thankfully, I am
beginning to see a positive shift in attitude among parents and school
boards towards tutoring. It seems as if private tutoring is becoming
accepted as a necessary element of a child’s education. More and more
parents are realizing that the time has come to stop complaining about the
public education system. The time has come to accept that the public
education system will always have its limitations and that the systemic
problems will not go away.
Instead of simply
sitting back and being critical, many caring parents have decided to do
what they can to provide their children with additional support in the
form of tutoring. This has predictably lead to the rapid expansion of
commercial franchise learning centers where children are enrolled in a
mastery approach built upon worksheet completion of specific skills
identified as weaknesses through standardized tests and working in groups
Because of my
background in teaching, and as a result of my personal experience, I am
convinced that the best way parents can help their child is by hiring a
PRIVATE TUTOR who provides PROFESSIONAL ONE-ON-ONE instruction that is
geared to what the child is taking in school right IN THEIR OWN HOME!
have therefore decided to open up The Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic to
help parents find PRIVATE TUTORS for their children. Furthermore, I have
been able to establish a system whereby most parents can get this type of
tutoring for an affordable $40 a week – almost half of what they can
expect to pay at some commercial centers. I invite you to call me as soon
as possible so that we can talk about the needs of your child who will
undoubtedly benefit from a visit from a professional private tutor coming
to your home every week or two. Call me and we can discuss your options.
It won’t cost you anything to talk and it may make all the difference
for your child.
York Region District School Board
Attempts To Compete With Private Tutoring Industry
The York Region District School Board has implemented a new
after-school program that is likely to be the beginning of a wave of
similar action by school boards across the province. It
is charging parents of children in Grades 4, 5 and 6 for after-school help
in literacy and mathematics. For $190, students can fill in learning gaps
and try to boost their marks by signing up for 16 hours of small-group
instruction over eight weeks with a certified teacher.
The board says its "Learning
Advantage" program is not a money grab, but merely an attempt to meet
the needs of families who are already turning to private tutoring
businesses for extra help for their children. It also says it can do a
better job than private services because its program is written by experts
and reflects the provincial curriculum.
Whatever the merits of the actual program,
the board is sorely missing the point. By charging for special academic
classes, the board is in reality creating a two-tier education system that
gives extra help to students who can afford to pay for it but leaves their
poorer classmates behind.
The job of a public school is to teach the
provincial academic curriculum to all students who attend its schools, not
compete with private businesses. That means all of the board's programs
should be accessible to all students, regardless of their family
It is unfortunate that the York Region's new
program is being supported by Rick Johnson, the president of the Ontario
Public School Board Association as well as the Provincial Education
Minister, Kathleen Wynne, who sees no difference between York's tutoring
service and other fee-based education services.
There are several elements of the program
that deserve explanation and comment at this time:
It has been stated that the cost of the
program offered by York is half of what is being charged in shopping
mall tutoring centers. That is a completely false and misleading
In fact, the York program is much more expensive than most other
privately operated programs. There are ten students in each of York's
after-school classes. These students range from Grades 4 to 6. At a
cost of $190 for sixteen hours, this works out to $118.75 per hour of
revenue for the program. The instructor's time is being divided up
between ten students, meaning an average of six minutes per student.
Therefore, at $11.75 per class, and six minutes of attention, the
student is actually paying almost $2.00 per minute of attention from
the teacher. That would translate into an hourly rate of $120 an hour
for a one-on-one tutoring session from a private learning coach.
Most private learning centres charge in the neighbourhood of $30 to
$40 per hour. Some have groups of three students sharing a tutor, so
in reality, this would mean that they would be given 20 minutes of
attention and the cost would translate into approximately $1.50 to
$2.00 per minute, or $90 to $120 per hour.
Private tutors who provide direct one-on-one tutoring will charge as
much as $50 to $60 per hour, depending on their qualifications and
experience. The cost to a student then translates into approximately
$1.00 per minute, or half of what the York Region District School
Board is charging. And very few people would argue the benefits of
one-to-one instruction as compared to instruction in groups of 3 or
In fact, the York Board must be making a huge profit on the program
since it is using teachers who are not currently employed by the Board
and therefore must be paying them at a much lower rate than would be
demanded by hiring a union instructor. With a revenue of $118.75 per
hour, and no overhead costs to speak of, the Board must be making at
least $60 per hour from the program.
Therefore, the York Board may be well within its rights to offer the
program in competition with private sector firms, but it should not be
allowed to mislead the public by claiming that it is much less
The Board has claimed that its program is
much better than some private tutoring services because it is less
rote-based and more closely aligned with the Ontario curriculum. The
program teaches a prescribed curriculum written by school-board
experts that focuses on problem-solving and data management, according
to Reg Robson, who administers the board's arm's-length Learning
Connections organization which seeks new ways of drawing students and
The reality is clear. When faced with ten students who range in levels
from Grades 4 to 6, the curriculum must be written and delivered as if
this were a separate class of students, no different from the program
they would receive during the day except that it is done with small
classes. And we all know that smaller classes result in a much better
Robson is correct when he refers to private tutoring companies using
rote-based and worksheet-based programs. Unfortunately, this type of
instruction program is necessary with most private tutoring companies
because of the inexperience of their instructors, who are often
university graduates who are entering the job market and in search of
part-time employment. The wages are low and the turn-over tends to be
high in these tutoring companies, so by adopting a worksheet-based
program, a student can continue the program regardless of who the
tutor happens to be on any given day. This clearly is not the most
effective way for students to learn, however, it is easy to administer
and produces hard evidence that a child is improving through the
The York Region District School Board and
many private learning centres are missing the point completely when it
comes to providing students with extra help. The creation of a
parallel curriculum merely provides a child with a second education
program, albeit within a small-group setting which is much more
enjoyable and effective than the current public system for most
students. This parallel education program is only available to parents
who have the ability to pay. Furthermore, the program that is being
offered by York as well as the programs offered by many of the private
companies, work out to approximately the same cost; roughly $2.00 per
minute of direct attention from the tutor.
What most children need is one-on-one tutoring, or attention from a
Professional Learning Coach. That cost is no more than $1.00 per
minute, usually takes place in the child's home which is where he/she
must learn on a regular basis, and is much more effective in the long
The Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic, for
established a system where parents can secure the services of a
Professional Learning Coach for 90 minutes of direct one-on-one
instruction, within their own home, for a maximum cost of $360 for 360
minutes of instruction each month. Many of the tutors on the Registry of
Tutors offer their services for as low as half of that amount.
Compare that to the attention you receive
from most learning centres who provide you with a maximum of 160 minutes
of direct individual instruction for a cost of approximately $320, or to
the York Board which provides you with a maximum of 48 minutes of direct
individual instruction, for a cost of $96, and you be the judge.
It would be like a business person trying to
sell you 5 litres of water for $10 because his is cheaper than his
competitor who sells 20 litres of water for $20. Of course it is cheaper.
But you are getting less water for your money.
The message to parents from all of this activity with respect to
tutoring and learning coaches is that everyone, including one of the
largest school boards in the province, recognizes that many students
require additional help to bridge the gaps or to nudge their marks higher.
There is a general acceptance that the current system is not working
properly and will likely never be able to do so without incurring
phenomenal increases in funding for education. The additional help is
going to have to come from the private sector and it will be only
available to people who can afford to pay. Yes...we do have a two-tier
education system in Ontario. The question is, should the public school
boards be allowed to enter into the battle for revenue from private
citizens who already pay taxes for the public schools in the province.
Nevertheless, expect to see the rest of the
School Boards in the province soon follow suit and implement their own
after school tutoring programs to compete with the private sector.
of Boom, Bust & Echo Warns Against Overreacting To Increased
The following is an article
from the Canadian Press that may be of interest to many of our readers. It
was written by Collin Perkel and released on January 21, 2007.
universities, bulging at the seams with students and worried about finding
faculty to teach them, could find themselves with the opposite problem in
a few years, says a noted demography expert: empty classes and a glut of
And it won't be as a result of generous government funding or clever
public policy, demographer and author David Foot told a conference of
Ontario university faculty members.
"If the government waits long enough, the problem will solve
itself," Foot said. "Ten years from now, we may be talking about
a whole new era."
Strong enrolment numbers at Canadian universities of late have been
largely driven by the children of baby boomers, that massive cohort born
after the Second World War but before the use of the birth control pill
That "echo generation" has been moving into the university
system in recent years, but will soon be moving out of it, said Foot, a
professor of economics at the University of Toronto and author of the
popular Boom, Bust and Echo books.
In November, Statistics Canada reported that university enrolment
across the country had surpassed the one-million mark for the first time
in 2004-05, fuelled in part by a growing number of young adults in the
"Don't presume that today's situation is going to persist,"
Foot said Friday at a conference organized by the Ontario Confederation of
University Faculty Associations.
"Demand may well be going down as the baby boom echo leaves our
The moderating effect should be most pronounced in Ontario, where the
scrapping of Grade 13 created a surge in first-time students in 2003.
"Right now, we're in the very worst possible situation," said
Foot, who slammed the former Conservative government's decision to do away
with Grade 13 in the midst of the baby-boom echo as "stupid public
"Five years from now, the echo is gone, the double cohort is gone;
we may be facing an entirely different external environment."
Data indicate Ontario's current enrolment is a whopping 40 per cent
higher than it was in 2000-01. And last week, the Council of Ontario
Universities reported that demand continues to rise.
Applicants for admission to the province's universities in 2007 were up
5.2 per cent over 2006 and 11.7 per cent over 2004, latest figures show.
"The number of applicants exceeded projections, as they had in
2006 and 2005," the council said. "The increased demand poses
significant challenges for the university sector."
While a higher percentage of high school graduates have been opting for
universities, Foot said that trend will also likely slow and may even
begin to reverse.
Employers are increasingly demanding non-academic or more practical
skills from newcomers, which will tend to press students leaving high
school into apprenticeships and trades, he said. Governments have also
been busy creating incentives for college applicants in hopes of taking
the pressure off the university system.
Ontario universities have also been sounding the alarm over how to
replace aging faculty, especially with tight hiring budgets.
Statistics show about half of all full-time faculty are over the age of
50; about 15 per cent are over the age of 60.
Foot said those concerns about faculty shortages should ease as well.
The end of mandatory retirement in Ontario that took effect this year
should mean a 15 per cent increase in faculty over what otherwise might
have been expected, he said.
"That will get us over the hump," said Foot. "That will
get us through this decade into the next decade and in fact we may be then
buying out the faculty to get them to leave."
Instead of overcrowding lecture halls that exist now, the photo below
may end up becoming the reality if we overreact to the recent boom in
More And More
Parents Turning To Private Tutors To Give Their Children One-On-One
a professional educator and a member of the Ontario College of Teachers,
Robert Kirwan did not decide to open up a private practice as an Education
and Career Planning Specialist in order to slam the public school system.
"Absolutely not," he
exclaimed. "On the contrary. Professional Learning Coaches, otherwise
known as tutors in North America, have been very popular in places like
India, China, Singapore, and many European countries. In the United States
it is common for students to have tutors who stay with them throughout
their entire years in formal education."
"A good private tutor will work
with a child to make sure that the student achieves the greatest success
possible in his/her formal education setting. In fact, the main purpose of
a tutor is to support the work that is being done by regular classroom
teachers," he explained.
The Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic,
which is owned and operated by Robert Kirwan, a former teacher with over
28 years of experience in the Greater Sudbury Area, is now open in the
Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. Parents who are interested in discussing
the benefits of finding a tutor for their child are encouraged to stop by
for a free initial consultation.
“As a Professional Learning Coach my primary responsibility is to
inspire, encourage and guide my students to greater success in school and
in life,” explains Kirwan. “I’ve established The Greater Sudbury Learning
Clinic as a place where parents can come when they have concerns of any kind about the future of their children when it
comes to education, learning or career planning.”
on to state, “My role as a Professional Learning Coach is to do whatever I
can to develop a program which will assist in the development of
appropriate learning skills that will
satisfy the needs of my students, regardless of their age or current
Learning Clinic offers local residents a very unique service which Kirwan
feels will be catching on across the province in years to come.
a parent comes to the Learning Clinic to discuss the needs of their child,
they have the option of having me conduct a comprehensive diagnosis which
will include two or more meetings, one of which will be at the child's
home to review the home learning environment. Once the review is done, we
will develop a treatment plan for the child," explained Kirwan.
"Once the treatment plan is complete, it is up to the parent to
decide if he/she wishes to utilize the services of one of the associate
tutors who are part of the 'Registry of Tutors' which is administered by
The Learning Clinic. If so, I will send the information out to all of the
members of the 'Registry' and those who are interested in working with
that particular child will reply. The parent is then given the
professional profiles of the tutors who showed interest and it is up to
the parent to initiate contact to make the necessary arrangements."
of the 'Registry of Tutors' come from the community and consist of retired
teachers; occasional teachers; students of Teachers' College; part-time
teachers; university and college graduates; or anyone else who has special
skills and would like to work with children to help them develop their
members of the Registry of Tutors are required to have an up-to-date
Criminal Record Check and all of their credentials are verified prior to
being accepted on the Registry of Tutors.
who use the services of anyone on the Registry of Tutors can be assured
that their children will be receiving the highest standard of professional
care possible," declared Kirwan.
“I have devoted my entire adult life to assisting young people in the
development of learning skills in a wide variety of areas: sports,
recreation, hobbies, and formal education, to name a few,” he went on.
“In all of my endeavours, be they in my roles as a parent and
grandparent, as a professional teacher, or as a minor sports coach, I
never cease to be amazed at the tremendous capacity of young people to
learn new skills when they are truly interested in what it is that they
“It hurts me to see so many young students missing out on what life has
to offer because of the development of a negative attitude towards
learning and ultimately towards anything that has to do with education and
training. Often all it takes is the right "spark" to re-ignite
the excitement that will open the doors to a life time of opportunities
and success. All it takes is the right "approach" from the right
"person" to show a young person how to overcome the seemingly
impossible challenges that they face every day.”
Whether your child is "struggling" and falling behind, or your
child is "excelling" and wanting to surge ahead of the rest of
the pack like a spirited thoroughbred, it makes sense to consider putting
him/her under the care of a "professional coach".
would like more information about The Greater Sudbury Learning Clinic, go
to the links below.
are interested in becoming a member of the Registry of Tutors, go to the
web site and read more.
A School Nutrition Plan Would Be
Well Worth The Money To Improve Learning In The Country's Schools
Conservative government is being urged to spend $250 million for the first
year of a nutrition program for all children younger than 18. If
implemented, this would be a giant leap forward with respect to improving
learning opportunities for students in our elementary and secondary
"What we are proposing is a very simple
plan, a nutritious breakfast, snack or maybe a lunch for every child under
18," MP Olivia Chow (New Democrat-Trinity-Spadina) told a news
conference on January 17, 2007.
It is unfortunate that Chow did not suggest
that this level of funding would be maintained in subsequent years, and it
is obvious that the timing was likely politically generated, considering a
Commons standing committee on health was about to report on child obesity.
However, it is a sign that the government is at least considering
something that would also be good for learning, not just child obesity.
Currently, a patchwork of non-profit food
programs exists for some children.
"What we want to do is to have a debate
in Parliament about the kind of program and support that we can have for
children so that they can grow up healthy," Chow said.
Health Minister Tony Clement's office said
the government is doing its bit for children's nourishment needs by
"We trust Canadian parents to make the
right choices for their children, and we are helping to make that
possible," Clement's press secretary said.
Dr. Robert Cushman, former medical officer
of health for Ottawa, said hungry students need food but obese
students need to learn to eat the right food. The youth "obesity
epidemic" means nutrition should be a "part of the curriculum as
much as math and English," or this generation may have shorter life
spans than their parents, Cushman said.
Statistics Canada found the number of overweight and obese
children 6 to 17 doubled from 1979 to 2004, while obesity tripled among
Inappropriate weight gain could lead to
diabetes, hypertension, health disease and stroke at younger ages and to
mental health problems relating to self-esteem. All of these also impact
significantly on the way children learn and on their education.
Cushman said the solution is to go to places
where children are – daycares, neighbourhood centres or schools – to
provide proper nutrition. "The remedy is that we can eat well and
bring that food where the children are."
Almost a half-million children in 5,000
communities across Canada attended nutrition programs last year, supported
by Breakfast for Learning, a non-profit agency based in Toronto, said
executive director Martha O'Connor, "but what about the millions of
children we haven't yet reached?"
O'Connor said Canada is the only major industrial country that does
not have a universal nutrition program.
This speaks volumes and is an indication that we should be doing
something about it.
The Value Placed On Early Childhood
Development Is Being Recognized As A Clear Indicator Of The Future Of
It is becoming increasingly clear to everyone that in order for us to
develop a high quality population for the future - one that has strong
learning skills, is highly literate, is creative and has the capacity to
adjust quickly to changing times, we have to think much more about the
policies of our children and the value of early childhood education, which
obviously sets the foundation for adult learning and health.
recent reports from Statistics Canada spell out the importance of what
happens in the early years for future success in learning capabilities and
first examined readiness to learn of 5-year-olds entering the school
system, and whether these differences were evident by age 3. This is
important because the learning ability of youngsters as they begin school
has an important influence on their subsequent school performance, and
therefore whether they go on to college or university education.
Readiness to learn is not about whether youngsters entering school can
already read, write or do arithmetic. It is about their ability to
understand words, to communicate, their knowledge of numbers, how to copy
and use symbols, their self-control of behaviour, their ability to pay
attention, their work effort, their curiosity, their ability to engage in
co-operative play, their independence in dressing and independence in
What the study found was that there were clear differences in readiness to
learn depending on the income level of the family and the home
environment, which was also linked to income. In other words, on average,
youngsters from low-income families were handicapped from the time they
entered school because they were less ready to learn than children from
more affluent families.
second Statistics Canada report found that literacy skills of young people
in their late teens were clearly linked to their early reading ability.
This complements the first study on readiness to learn. Youngsters
entering the school system ready to learn are much more likely to develop
a strong reading ability from the start, and maintain this development
during their years of formal schooling.
Both studies point out that it is so important to
spend time to develop a positive attitude to learning among our children.
Other studies have shown that this should not be much of a problem, since
up until the age of nine, most children exhibit signs that they love to
learn and gain new knowledge about the world around them. The challenge is to
maintain that excitement for learning as they grow into their teenage
years and move through the education system.
Statistics indicate that up to 30% of all students
entering high school will not complete the necessary number of courses to
graduate. Further statistics show that up to 50% of all high school
graduates do not pursue post-secondary studies. These numbers are not
acceptable in today's global economy where over 70% of all jobs in the
marketplace require some form of post-secondary training.
It is a problem
that must be addressed.
School Bus Safety Must Be Enforced -
The Public Can Help Keep Our Children Safe
Even the large billboard like the one above on Highway
69 North in Val Caron near the Whitson River bridge across from Cecile
Street isn't enough to convince people to be more careful when school buses
are out on the roads.
The awareness campaign, which is being sponsored by the Greater
Sudbury Police Services Board and the Sudbury Police Association, is
designed to remind everyone about Adam Ranger, who was five years old when he was hit by a truck after stepping off
the school bus in Mattawa. Since Feb.
11, 2000, the Ranger family has vowed to increase public
awareness about the consequences of illegally passing a stopped school bus.
The same week the sign was
unveiled, Riley Richer, a five year old Hanmer boy was hit by a car as he
crossed Elmview Drive after getting off his school bus. The driver of the
car, Jessica Chiblow, 19, of Hanmer, is facing numerous charges under the
Highway Traffic Act. Fortunately, the boy was not seriously injured and was
released from the hospital that same night, but it is definitely an
experience he will remember for the rest of his life. It could also have had
far more devastating results.
Just recently we heard of another incident in the community where after
seeing a driver fail to stop for two school buses that were stopped, a
witness followed the vehicle, copied down the license number and the driver
has since been charged with two counts of failing to stop for a school bus.
He is facing a fine of $980 and is lucky that no one was injured as a result
of his carelessness.
The public appears to be fed up with the carelessness of drivers around
school buses and now that witnesses see how easy it is to punish offenders,
perhaps more will begin to report license numbers of guilty drivers. The
police can't be everywhere, but if drivers know that other witnesses can
initiate the process of charges, and if they think about what this will do
to their insurance premiums, then perhaps people will be more careful.
Just remember that the law states that motorists travelling in
both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its
upper red lights flashing. The only exception is on highways with a median,
where traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.
Mentors Will Help You Succeed In
When you look at successful professionals or business
executives, one thing that sets them apart from the others is the coaching
or mentoring that they received along their way to the top. It is readily
accepted by the most intelligent and most ambitious people among us that we
can never have all of the answers. Therefore, instead of re-inventing the
wheel, it is always advisable to listen to the advice of people who have
"been there before us" or who are able to help us out with strategic
planning that will enable us to avoid the pitfalls along the way.
think about it: all of today's professional athletes have coaches. These
coaches can be generalists or specialists, but just taking a hockey team
into consideration, you will find defense coaches, goalie coaches, forward
coaches, team psychologists, etc. Politicians have speaking, writing and
public image coaches. Singers, dancers, skaters and olympic swimmers have
personal coaches. Even Tiger Woods has a golf coach!
In fact, when you are close to the top, the difference between success
and failure can be very small. All you need is a small piece of well-placed
advice and it will make all the difference in the world.
TUTORS ARE LEARNING COACHES:
So, when you think about it, students should have the benefit of learning
coaches or mentors just like anyone else. After all, most of us spend
anywhere from 12 to 20 years of our life attending formal education classes
so that we can become trained and prepared for a satisfying career upon
graduation. The students who are the top of the class are always competing
for scholarships, bursaries, awards, and positions in prestigious university
and college programs. For the top students in the class it makes a great
deal of sense to have a tutor who can help you gain a competitive advantage
over the others. It may only be one or two marks that make the difference.
For students who are struggling in school, a tutor can mean the
difference between passing and failing. If graduation is delayed by a single
year, it could mean a loss of $40,000 in salary that could have been earned
if you had graduated on time. That means that the investment of $2000 or
$3000 in a tutor would give you a good return.
With respect to education, it is a wise parent who finds a good tutor
BEFORE their child experiences difficulty in school. Tutors should not be
seen as "fire-fighters", called in during emergencies only. They should be
there to prevent fires. They should be there for preventative purposes.
CAREER PLANNING OR EDUCATION - IT MAKES
So whether you are looking for advice on career planning or simply for
guidance and tutoring assistance in any of your formal education courses, it
makes a lot of sense to start looking for a good tutor or mentor. When you
find one, he/she will be able to help you develop a strategic plan which
will certainly give you a better chance of achieving your desired outcomes.
If you have any questions or concerns about career planning or education
planning, visit one of the web sites below:
Many Baby Boomers Looking To Golden
Years For Personal Fulfillment In New Careers
Many people who are entering their "retirement years" are
finding that you can only play so many rounds of golf and fix so many things
around the house before you are left wondering, "Is this what I really
As a result, we are seeing a huge number of "older people"
entering the workforce in a wide variety of careers where they are now
finding tremendous personal fulfillment. This is especially true of people
who may have worked for many years in a stress filled occupation simply
because of the fact that it provided an excellent salary, good benefits and
was stable. Now that the children have all left home, it is time to spend
some time in a career that focuses on passions that they may have had all of
their life, but for which it was just too irresponsible to give up the
security of their "real job".
You find people who were extremely powerful in the business world taking
on executive director roles in volunteer organizations and "loving every
minute". Further, since most of the retirees have some sort of pension
income to provide financial support, they find that the money isn't the most
important part of their new job. It is a way of achieving tremendous
personal satisfaction. It is like starting all over again with the energy
and passion of a 25 year-old in a 60 year-old body.
As the baby boomers continue to age into retirement, don't be surprised
if the anticipated "job market" remains fairly tight. You may also be
surprised to find some corporate executives working as retail clerks on the
floor of department stores or home building companies simply because for all
of the years they remained on top of the corporate ladder they were denied
the opportunity to "get down to street level" and work directly with the
customer. They would gladly work for nothing, but will take minimum wages
which when placed on top of their pension income create a better standard of
living for them and their families.
What's even more important is that most businesses and retail owners are
happy to hire a person in their 50's or 60's. As one business owner stated,
"When you hire an older worker you don't need to worry about whether or not
she is going to be here on time, or if she knows how to treat customers with
respect, or if she is going to quit without warning to find another job that
pays 10 cents an hour more. With older workers you have very stable, happy
employees who appreciate their chance to work with the public.
You can expect to see this trend continue in the future.
Being Offered By Universities As Students Realize That A B.A. May
Not Be Enough!
At the end of this school year,
four school years will have passed since the double cohort entered
post-secondary education. A lot of those students are beginning to realize
that a four-year undergraduate degree may not be enough to get them that
dream job they have been working towards. In fact, many of them are
registering in a Master's Degree program to give them the competitive
advantage they feel will be necessary.
Ryerson University's new Master of
Fine Arts in Documentary Media will let students explore the
world of documentary
York University's Master in
Development Studies will combine courses on understanding the
growing issues of globalization with the practical application of
The University of Toronto's
Master in Public Policy aims
to get students
Ryerson's Master of Arts in Media
Production which will analyze the rapid transformations taking
place in the way we consume media. From
U of T's new Master in Management in
Innovation is a fast-paced, interactive 12-month program created
to better prepare students with a science and technology background for
And so, despite the ever increasing debt
load that many students are facing at the end of their undergraduate
studies, now they may have to look into a Master's or Doctor's degree just
to be able to move up the ladder in their chosen career. The double-cohort
had a tremendous impact on post-secondary education four years ago. It may
have an equally significant impact on post-graduate education in the fall
Wage Increases To $8.00 Per Hour On February
Won't Help Fill Vacancies In
The Ministry of Labour reminds all employers that the minimum wage
will increase to $8.00 per hour for most general employees on
February 1, 2007
. The current rate is $7.75. This amounts
to a 3.2% increase. During the past three years the minimum wage has
increased almost 17% from its pre-2004 rate of $6.85.
The new rate for
students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less will be
$7.50 and for people working in licensed restaurants and taverns, the rate
will be $6.95 per hour as of February 1, 2007.
By definition, “The
wage is the lowest rate an employer can pay an employee. Most employees
are eligible for minimum wage, whether they are full-time, part-time,
casual employees, or are paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat
rate or salary.”
percentage of employees in the City of Greater Sudbury
are employed at the minimum wage level, so this will result in a small
increase in their take home pay every week. However, critics of the
government point out that this still only amounts to $10 per week before
deductions if a person is lucky enough to be working 40 hours a week. It
is estimated that approximately 60% of all employees in the City of Greater
Sudbury earn $10 or less per hour. The rate
increase will have a direct financial impact upon businesses in the region
that pay their employees the minimum rate.
A study in Greater Sudbury during the fall
of 2006 showed that despite the tremendous growth being experienced in
this area, and despite the fact that there are a lot of people having
trouble finding jobs, hundreds of retail positions are going unfilled
because employers simply can't find anyone willing to take the jobs.
of the reasons so many of the retail jobs are going unfilled is because
people are finding it extremely difficult to live on minimum wage. Even if
you can get 40 hours a week, you are still only making $1,600 per month
before taxes if you can get a job that pays $10 an hour. If you are being
paid $8.00 an hour, that figure drops to $1,280 per month.
a result, young people are still moving out of the region in search of
better paying jobs.
are also wondering why there are not as many students around to fill the
retail jobs, but the answer to that question is easy to determine when you
examine the nature of the education system today. The demands being made
upon secondary and post-secondary students to achieve the highest marks
possible leave little time for part-time jobs. For many, the prospect of
ruining one's chances of getting into the university program of your
choice in order to make $160 a week just isn't worth the risk. And since
most of the hours for students come during the evening or on weekends,
many are simply choosing to stay home and study.
minimum wage will help somewhat in helping move earnings closer to a
decent level, but $8.00 per hour is not going to help anyone get out of
debt or make ends meet in this expensive world.
Federal Report Warns That Canada Is
Training Too Few Workers To Compete Globally
"Canada is training too few workers — from plumbers to PhDs — for today's
smart economy and, unless we set a national plan for higher education,
other countries are going to "eat our lunch," warns a federal report
released in December 2006.
Without a coast-to-coast blueprint for higher learning with sharp goals
for quality, affordability and access, Canada will be left behind by
economies on nearly every other continent, says this country's first
national overview of post-secondary education, by the Canadian Council on
Learning, an independent research body created this year.
"When a hockey team is falling in the standings, you need to know what to
fix — the goaltending? Checking? Forwards? We need to start tracking
post-secondary education on a national level so we can figure out what
needs to be done to improve," said council president Paul Cappon.
While the United States, the , Australia and the
European Union have been busy setting targets for better post-secondary
funding, graduation rates, class size, library holdings and teaching
credentials, Cappon says Canada has
neglected to set any national vision for post-secondary education and is
now "out of sync with 21st-century reality.
"The status quo is not an option; we produce fewer PhDs than the average
among countries in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development) and we're near the bottom for producing graduates in science
and engineering," he said in an interview.
While 70 per cent of new jobs are expected to require some level of higher
learning, he noted roughly 44 per cent of Canadians have this much formal
The writing is on the wall for policy makers when it comes to
post-secondary education for people living in Canada. More must be done to
ensure that our children are receiving adequate training that will equip
them for work in the 21st century.
Incentives Will Be Provided To Lure
Highly Qualified People As Supply Falls Short of Demand
Reports of northern medical students being lured to
southern Ontario by huge financial incentives have unsettled some Greater
Sudbury politicians, however, anyone with some understanding of how the
business world operates would not be at all surprised with this revalation.
City council directed staff to look into the matter after hearing at least
one Northern Ontario School of Medicine student has been lured to a
municipality by a $150,000 payment. "They are offering quite
lucrative contracts ... even to first-year students," Ward 3 Coun.
Claude Berthiaume said during a council meeting in January 2007.
"I have been told that personally, by the father of a student,"
Berthiaume said. "He's being paid $150,000 and will have all his
education paid. He's telling me that .... other students, as well, have
been signing contracts."
Mayor John Rodriguez added he was aware of the same example cited by
The medical student has signed a contract with "a small, southern
municipality ... which will cover his costs for his years at medical
school here. He will be going down there for a period of time,"
"It's a small municipality that recognized they had a problem with
physician recruitment. So where do you come? You come to the medical
school. What do you do? You offer money."
Rodriguez said he fully expected northern medical school students to be
recruited by communities outside the North. But not necessarily so soon,
he added, referring to the fact the medical school opened last fall and
its inaugural class won't graduate until 2009.
"I knew that eventually this was going to happen, but I didn't
realize they were so quick on the draw," the mayor said.
Northern communities, in turn, will have to be active and innovative with
their recruiting initiatives, Rodriguez said.
This is a practice that has been used for decades, if not for centuries
in the private sector. Retaining top level executives as well as good,
qualified and trained employees has always been one of the main challenges
for any business in any industry.
This is one of the reasons why employment agencies have become so
popular and have begun to spring up everywhere. It is also why anyone
beginning a career, in any field, should pay particular attention to
continued networking and also to keep their names in with employment
agents who will keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities for
advancement in their chosen careers.
One Lady's Story Demonstrates How
Hard It Can Be Without An Education And A Proper Career Plan In
This story is being placed here as an example to all young
people who feel that it is just too hard to work towards a definite career
plan. It is for those students who can't wait to quit school and go out to
find a minimum wage job just to get out of the drudgery of the education
system. The message is clear.
The story first appeared in the Toronto Star in September 2006.
This is a story about one lady. However, there are 650,000 working
Canadians who are struggling just like her.
From her ninth-floor
apartment in the northwest corner of Toronto, Maheswary Puvaneswaran glances out over
a neighbourhood of neat and trim homes where she can only dream of
If she even had time to dream.
Right now, she barely has time to
When you are a member of the working
poor — more than 650,000 strong in this country — there is
precious little time for either.
Around , when most families are getting ready
for bed, she escorts her two sons, aged 6 and 13, down a narrow
carpeted corridor in their concrete high-rise. Clad in flannel
pyjamas, backpacks over their shoulders and sleeping bags and
pillows in their arms, the boys willfully, though not eagerly,
accept the journey as part of their routine. They reach a doorway
and, with a final hug, their mother leaves them in the care of a
neighbour for the night.
Outside on the deserted rain-soaked
streets near the intersection of Martin Grove Rd. and The Westway, she catches a city bus
and travels north. She transfers to another bus further on, one that
eventually drops her off at a condominium where she will mop hallway
floors, empty garbage and scrub toilets from until dawn.
"My sons, they always say,
`Please stay with us.' But I can't," she says with a mix of
sadness and regret. "I have to leave. I have to work."
For her labour, Puvaneswaran earns no
more than $1,150 in an entire month, often less. The rent for her
small one-bedroom apartment is $849.
Puvaneswaran, who is paid $8.50 an
hour, borrows money from friends to get by. She has relatives who
sometimes send clothes from England. She rations food during the week —
one glass of milk for each boy at morning and one at night. She
won't allow herself any. After , she lets her sons have some fruit, a
banana or apple.
Their main meal of the day alternates
between rice (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) and pasta (Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays). On Sunday afternoons, they look forward to
a hearty meal at the Hindu temple where they worship. In short, she
pays a hefty price to live in the country's largest and richest
So why — 13 years after settling in Canada — does a hard-working mother still
live in poverty? How many more years will she be expected to live
and work like this?
In the time Puvaneswaran has been
here, there has been no shortage of research documenting the plight
of the nation's poor, 40 per cent of whom work but can't earn a
decent living for themselves and their families.
Almost annually, government agencies
at all levels and community-based groups — ranging from the United
Way to the national anti-child poverty group Campaign 2000 — have
urged reforms of Canada's social-security, housing, child-care and
income-security programs. The reports' titles read like a burning
red flag: The Outsiders, The Growing Gap, Families on the Financial
Edge, Precarious Jobs, Enough Talk, Falling Fortunes, Time for a
Despite the stack of studies, the
plight of the working poor remains all too invisible on the
political radar screen of Queen's Park and Ottawa.
"It's bloody horrendous,"
says Deena Ladd, co-ordinator of the Workers' Action Centre, a
worker-based organization fighting for changes to labour laws.
"These people are on the margins of the workforce and have a
big struggle on their hands. We have to get someone to pay
A federal study released last month
found that more than 650,000 Canadians who work still lack the means
to live a decent life. A total of 1.5 million live in working-poor
families, a third of them children.
Puvaneswaran, 45, who has a
post-secondary degree in the liberal arts and taught school in Sri Lanka, would unquestionably be counted among
them. Like her, they scrub toilets, mop floors, toil in factories,
wash dishes, deliver pizzas and newspapers, make hotel beds, serve
coffee, sell credit cards and drive taxis. Many work at two and
three jobs to stay afloat. Some are paid Ontario's minimum hourly
wage of $8.00, some more, others less.
An alarming number of Ontario's
working poor — 37 per cent — work in part-time, casual or
temporary jobs, or are misclassified as "self-employed,"
denying them basic employment rights many Canadians take for
granted. Thousands are at the mercy of "temp" agencies
that enable employers to hire and fire workers at will.
Despite working long and hard hours,
the federal analysis done for Human Resources and Social Development
Canada found they are, on average, as poor as people on welfare.
Social workers, academics and some
politicians are sounding the alarm: Without major reforms, we will
all soon pay for the ever-widening gap between the prosperous and
Largely immigrants, visible minorities
and single parents, the working poor are called "the
semi-invisible." We barely notice them. And when the jobs
disappear, so do they.
So precarious are their lives, poverty
experts warn that the slightest downturn in the economy could
suddenly thrust thousands onto government assistance, employment
insurance or, worse, the streets.
"One thing goes bad in their
lives and they're plunged into a precipice," says Susan Pigott,
executive director of St. Christopher House, a social-services
agency, and co-chair of a high-powered task force of business,
labour, academic and civic leaders that released a report earlier
this year on the city's working-age poor. The report calls for a
federal income supplement or "top-up" for low-wage workers
and a revamping of Canada's income-security system.
Puvaneswaran's economic struggle has
ebbed and flowed over the years, but it has only ever fluctuated
between being poor and poorer.
There is no sofa in her sparse
one-bedroom apartment, so Puvaneswaran graciously offers up plastic
chairs during a recent interview. Bedding is rolled up against the
living-room wall. Her sons are in the other room, lying quietly on
She and her husband arrived from Sri
Lanka in April 1993, she explains, shortly before her first son was
born. Her husband took work in a Toronto factory; she stayed home to
care for their child. She later went to work ironing and packing at
a Roots factory before giving birth to her second son, now 6.
Tragedy struck when her husband was
injured at his job in a glass factory. He underwent two operations
on his hand, and tried but failed to return to work. He left angry
and disillusioned. He received sick pay in 2005, but his support ran
out, and last November Puvaneswaran again returned to work.
Her husband went back to Sri Lanka two
months ago to visit his sick mother. She has no idea when or if
"There are just far too many
people living in large urban centres that are on a go-nowhere
treadmill," Pigott says. "If you're working full-time, you
should be able to make ends meet.
Puvaneswaran arrives home from work
around 7 a.m., in time to get her kids off to school, then falls
into bed for several hours before waking to make meals for their
return. On a good week when she's handed 30 hours of work, she'll
set off again in the evening.
Before making the ritualistic walk
down the corridor, she puts together a snack and the next day's
school lunch. On a particular evening in her kitchen this week, she
pulls out some cinnamon raisin bagels and slips a breaded chicken
patty in the middle of each.
She'd love to put some of her wages
into occasional luxuries for herself and her boys — a meal in a
restaurant, a movie, video games — but the high cost of the rent
delivers a jolt back to reality.
She remembers that as a couple, she
and her husband applied for subsidized housing many years ago, but
she can't recall what happened to the request. If she applied now,
the wait could be up to 10 years, according to the city.
The high cost of rent almost had
Puvaneswaran and her kids tossed onto the street in April.
Before moving into their one-bedroom
apartment, the family had been living in a two-bedroom that cost
$986 a month. She came home one day and was startled to find a
sheriff changing the locks. She'd been short $150 over two months'
rent. Her neighbour, Malathi Chennai, remembers the tears and mayhem
that day and having to come to the rescue.
"I gave her some money for the
rent," Chennai says.
Puvaneswaran now works for two
employment agencies. One sends her to the job cleaning condos; the
other found her work cleaning floors in a west-end medical plastics
factory. Although paid better than minimum wage, she still averages
only 16 to 30 hours a week of work.
"I'm always sleepy," she
says of the effects of working a graveyard shift. "But I need
more hours. I need a permanent job."
In the 13 years that Puvaneswaran has
been in Canada, the country's workforce has changed dramatically.
New immigrants and visible minorities make up a larger proportion of
low-income workers, despite having a higher education than
immigrants in the past. In 1981, one in seven immigrant families
lived in poverty; by 2001, it was almost one in four.
The number of people working in
temporary or part-time jobs, often through temp agencies, has
doubled in Ontario since 1989. It has become a convenient means for
employers to ignore the province's Employment Standards Act,
according to this year's task force report by the Toronto City
Summit Alliance and St. Christopher House.
Every year, between 15,000 and 20,000
workers complain to the Ministry of Labour of not being paid for
overtime or statutory holidays, or of not being paid at all. Some
work as many as 60 hours a week. Others don't get enough hours and
then fail to qualify for employment insurance. Part-time employees,
like Puvaneswaran, are typically denied basic health and dental
"Employers used to call a temp
agency when an employee was off sick for a week. Now they're hiring
people through temp agencies effectively for their permanent
staff," says Elizabeth Bruckmann, staff lawyer at Parkdale
Community Legal Services.
"People are putting up with the
most atrocious conditions because they cannot afford to leave a
In the past 15 years, the minimum
wage, employment insurance and social assistance have all
significantly declined in value, and there's been little public or
political pressure to improve the situation.
A growing number of workers are now
being forced to take jobs misclassified as
"self-employed," denying them job security, sick pay,
pensions and other benefits. The federal study, entitled When
Working is Not Enough to Escape Poverty, found that more than 40 per
cent of working-poor Canadians are self-employed and thus not
eligible to collect employment insurance.
"The government needs to
recognize it's not the 1950s anymore," says Ladd of the
Workers' Action Centre, which has been lobbying for at least a
$10-an-hour minimum wage and changes to labour laws.
"It's 2006 and our world of
employment has radically changed, yet our laws are based on
post-Second World War."
There is no official definition of
poverty in Canada, but by any measure one can see
Puvaneswaran personifies the raw reality of any cold calculations.
This year, her earnings will be about $13,000. A government child
benefit only barely lightens the load, bringing her total annual
income to about $16,000 — not much different from what she would
receive if she went on welfare.
Her income is well below the $37,791
($31,865 after tax) that Statistics Canada defines as low income for
a Toronto family of four.
"She is the sole provider in the
household, but she doesn't complain a lot," says Jayanthie
Reynold, program manager at the South Asian Women's Centre. She
recalls Puvaneswaran coming to the Bloor St. W. centre for emotional support during
her husband's struggles, but she hasn't seen her lately.
"She feels bad when I give her a
token," Reynold says. "But for her to come and see us, she
has to use the TTC."
Puvaneswaran now has a TTC pass from
one of her employers, but she is also looking for a third part-time
job, one she hopes will raise her monthly pay to at least $1,200.
"If my income is $1,200,"
she says modestly, "I can manage."
Visit To Former
Home Town During The Holidays Brought Back Fond Memories Of A
Simpler Way of Life
Robert and Valerie Kirwan took some time out of their busy holiday
schedule to "walk the streets" of Valerie's home town of
Creighton Mine. Walking down the remnants of the once busy streets brought
back memories of days when life seemed so much simpler, and yet, in many
ways, much more fulfilling.
The Kirwans first met in the spring of 1968, in what was
known as the Creighton Club Recreation Centre. He grew up in Lively, a
company town located a few miles up the road, and Valerie was born and
raised in Creighton. They were married in 1972 and have lived for the past
34 years in Val Therese.
The Town of Creighton no longer exists, after having been leveled to
the ground during the 1980's. As they walked along the streets the Kirwan's
commented on how small the space seemed to them now, and yet this small
space once contained hundreds of houses, all occupied by employees of INCO.
In the photo above, Robert and Valerie stand on "High Rock", a
name given to the rock that was used as an all-season playground for
Valerie and her friends as they were growing up. In the background you can
see one of the head frames at Creighton Mine. Those were the days when you
made your own fun. When creativity and ambition was common among all young
people. When playing outside for hours on end without
"store-bought" toys was simply "what you did" as a
Below, in the space contained within the circle, is where Valerie's
home once stood. Some of the rocks that lined the walkway beside her home
still remain, but the road now cuts right through the spot that was once
the living room. The house was small by today's standards, but it was all
that the family needed to enjoy a happy existence among friends.
Just to the left of the circle in the photo above you can
see where the "original street" once wound around Valerie's
house. Several months before Robert and Valerie ever met, Robert was
driving around Creighton with some of his friends when they decided to
turn around and backtrack. When he backed the car up, his bumper hit a
large rock that was beside the road, making a loud banging sound (but not
doing any damage to the car). Valerie remembers her father going to the
window to see what was going on and then returning back to his chair with
the comment, "Just some teen-age boys." It's strange how life
works out. Over 38 years later, one of the teen-age boys in that car is
still living with her.
I know that there are many former Creighton residents who receive
Valley East Today every week. If any of you have any stories about the
days when you lived in Creighton we would love to have you send them to us
so that we can share them with our readers. Send along a photo or two of
the "old days" so that we can show others just how much
community spirit existed in Creighton Mine.
It certainly was a wonderful life back in the 50's and 60's growing up
in the company towns of Creighton and Lively. I regret that our own
children couldn't benefit from the same experience.
I would recommend that you visit the following web site that has been
created and managed by Audrie (Jamieson) Brooks, a young lady who
lived at 48 Wavell Street (Snob Hill !?!). I am sure I went to
school with her husband, Earl Brooks. Audrie and Earl moved to Thompson
Manitoba in 1976 with their two small daughters. It is a fantastic web
site with some great photos and memories.