HOW DOES IT WORK?
Right To Play partners with the Toronto District School Board's Model Schools For Inner Cities to provide inner-city schools with programs that are play-based and youth-led.
Through a combination of training workshops and capacity building opportunities, Right To Play and TDSB staff support Youth Leaders to create a healthier, happier and safer school environment. Youth Leaders work to plan and lead play-based activities for other children in their school and local community.
The games and activities can be led in the classroom, in the gym or out on the school yard, and are designed to promote the key areas of learning that have been identified by the school. The Youth To Youth program looks different at every school because Youth Leaders are able to create programs that reflect the needs of their school and community.
TORONTO'S OPPORTUNITY GAP
While Toronto is one of the most prosperous cities worldwide, its wealth is shared in an increasingly unequal way. The child poverty rate ranges from 5% in some neighbourhoods to over 50% in others, and many reports find that both the income gap and the opportunity gap are growing. The reality for many children and youth growing up in low-income areas of Toronto is that access to extended learning programs, recreation opportunities or extra-curricular activities are out of reach because of their high cost.
Three Cities Within Toronto:
Income Polarization among Toronto's Neighbourhoods
report (2007) stresses the need to reintegrate Toronto's widening income and opportunity gap by increasing
access to extended learning programs for youth, where they can build the
skills necessary for success. The Toronto District School Board Parent Census of 2012 also noted that more accessible recreation opportunities were imperative as children from low-income families are
half as likely to be involved in regular
extracurricular activities (arts, sports/recreation, and other) than students from more affluent backgrounds.
Youth To Youth aims to close this widening opportunity gap by taking an asset-based approach to development and investing in local youth. Youth To Youth works with schools and communities to provide programs for youth that harness their leadership potential, build their capacity and allow their voice to be heard. The result is a movement of engaged and inspired youth leaders creating positive change in their local school and community through the power of play!
HOW CAN YOU APPLY OR GET INVOLVED?
Are you a school, community centre or youth facility looking to provide leadership opportunities for youth, while also providing inclusive, safe and fun activities for children?
Questions to consider before applying:
Does your school, community centre or facility have youth that could benefit from leadership opportunities, training and capacity building opportunities?
Does your school, community centre or facility have children that would benefit from access to free, inclusive and fun play-based activities led by youth leaders?
Is your school, community centre or facility looking to improve educational, healthy relationships and/or youth employability outcomes?
If the answer to one, or all of these questions is YES, follow the link below to
Youth To Youth partners receive:
Support in delivering one (1) year of Youth To Youth programming
(September – June)
Expert Right To Play training for youth, teachers or staff
On-going support and mentoring from Right To Play staff
Opportunities to participate in the Youth To Youth Leadership Symposium
Opportunities to participate in special events and outdoor education days
YOUTH TO YOUTH – APPLICATION – CLICK HERE
If you have any questions regarding the Youth To Youth program or the application process, please contact Matthew Judd at
In 2015-16, Youth To Youth is working with
35 school and community centre partners, training over
450 Youth Leaders to lead activities for approximately
1300 participating children every week.
Youth To Youth works to improve education, health and youth employment outcomes for children and youth in Toronto's Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
Towards these goals, participating youth have reported enhanced self-confidence and self-efficacy that leads to greater school connectedness and community engagement. Teachers report more inclusive school environments and that both Youth Leaders and participating students are more engaged inside and outside of the classroom.
of teachers believe Youth Leaders are making a positive change within their school.
“For [the students] to feel connected to a school and for them to feel valued and appreciated I think means a lot to them and I truly believe the [Youth To Youth] program is facilitating that. For the ones that are struggling academically and socially, this program provides them with a place to be leaders and shine. I don't have to do anythin; I'm watching what the Youth Leaders are doing and they have the entire school yard playing in one game...I think to myself 'is this real?'"
- School Principal
of Youth Leaders report feeling more confident in their leadership abilities
“I noticed the participants in the program are now more confident in their leadership and communication skills. It empowered them and gave them the confidence to speak their ideas."
- Community Outreach Worker
of teachers believe that after particiapting in the Y2Y program, children have improved teamwork and communication skills
"Every time we do Right To Play, there's more and more people who come. I'm really proud of that...all the Youth Leaders come and help out...it's amazing how everyone comes together."
- Youth Leader
School and Community Partners
Cornell Junior Public School
Cliffside Public School
Driftwood Public School
Eastview Public School
Elmbank Junior Middle Academy
Firgrove Public School
George Syme Public School
George Webster Public School
Highview Public School
Hunters Glen Public School
Jarvis Collegiate Institute
Kingsview Village Junior Public School
Lord Dufferin Junior & Senior Public School
Lynnwood Heights Public School
Oakridge Junior Public School
Parkside Public School
Pauline Johnson Public School
Queen Victoria Public School
Rose Avenue Public School
Roselands Public School
Runnymede Collegiate Institute
Samuel Hearne Middle School
Sprucecourt Public School
Walter Perry Junior Public School
Warden Avenue Public School
West Glen Junior School
Willow Park Junior Public School
Winchester Junior & Senior Public School
The York School
Bishop Strachan School
Royal St. George's College
Rosedale Day School
Wellesley Community Center
Funding and Implementing Partners
On April 29th, 2016, the Youth To Youth program held its first annual Leadership Symposium at the Evergreen Brick Works. 225 active Youth Leaders from around the city gathered together for a day of celebrating, connecting, and activating their leadership.
Right To Play took this chance to celebrate the Youth Leaders for their hard work in delivering consistent programming at their schools over the past year. The leaders had access to a number of activities throughout the day that allowed them to put aside their leadership caps and just play! They received visits from a number of Toronto athletes, including an inspiring talk from Canadian Junior Mens basketball Head Coach, Roy Rana! It was an amazing celebration of both leadership and play for some of the best leaders and play advocates in the city.
225 Youth Leaders from all across the city got a chance to meet like-minded peers and share their experiences as leaders. Leaders left having made a new network of peers and inspired to bring new ideas back to their own school.
"If I could tell youth at my school about Symposium I would say that it's a great opportunity to meet other youth leaders from across the city and that it allows you to see the change that we are making" - Youth Leader
Capitalizing on having some of the brightest young minds in the city all together, Youth Leaders spent time creating building action plans for events that use play to address some of the challenges in their school!
Overall, it was an amazing day. The ripples of the Leaders work will continue to be felt for a long time.