The latest from the Leacock Foundation

We are pleased to share how your donation is making a difference. Throughout the fall and winter, more than 500 Grade 1-8 students began after school programming in Toronto and 1,500 students at the Get Ahead Project School in South Africa began a new school year at the start of 2017. Read on for more updates on the impact of your support.

LEAD into Innovation sparks young entrepreneurs' creativity
Funded by the Telus Toronto Community Board, the LEAD into Innovation young entrepreneurs club gives Grade 7 and 8 students a unique opportunity to 'think outside the box'. Innovators collectively determine their community's most pressing issue and use business ideas to come up with a solution.
“This is a fun program that is a bit like Dragon’s Den. I really liked learning about business and making a product that could serve others.”
~ Brianna, participant

Pictured above is the LEAD into Innovation group from the Woburn community (Scarborough) as they presented creative ideas for addressing the issue of community access to healthy food at the Innovation Fair. Their business plans included using solar panels to preserve energy, growing food in local greenhouses and offering a food delivery service. 

Most recently, LEAD into Innovation visited the Cisco Innovation Centre where they received a tour of the facility and learned about a project where they are integrating technology across First Nations communities - a real life example of innovation at work!

Take the LEAD receives funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation

We are thrilled to share news that the Leacock Foundation has received a $115,200 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, in support of our Take the LEAD – a Social Justice Club program.

This funding over a two year period will not only allow for Take the LEAD to reach more underserved youth in Toronto, it will also fund curriculum changes which will result in a greater focus on community action. In the fall, Take the LEAD is offered to Grade 7 and 8 students in the communities of St. James Town, Keele-Finch, Woburn (Scarborough) and the First Nations School community, inspiring youth to see community challenges as opportunities to make a difference. 

We are so grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, for their investment in community leadership in Toronto’s at-risk communities.

Saturday Morning Club welcomes YPL volunteers 

Earlier this month, the Young Professionals of Leacock (YPL) club hosted their first Volunteer Day, giving members an opportunity to see first-hand the impact of their support. A group of enthusiastic volunteers visited the Saturday Morning Club program in St. James Town and assisted teachers in the classroom with literacy and recreation activities. It was a great morning of online reading, designing team signs and participating in a very spirited ball hockey tournament. 

Saturday Morning Club is one of the Leacock Foundation's longest standing programs. Focused on literacy, recreation and experiential learning, the program supports students in Grades 1-6 recommended by their teacher in developing skills and confidence in reading, writing and oral communication. Across three undeserved communities in Toronto, over 200 students are currently enrolled for the 2016/2017 school year.

Grade 12 class achieves GAP's highest bachelor pass rate

This past November, Grade 12 students at the Get Ahead College wrote the government-administered matriculation exam, a required qualification to graduate high school. Overall, the Grade 12 class received excellent matriculation exam results for 2016 with an 82% pass rate compared to the provincial average of 59%. The graduating class also received the highest bachelor pass rate in the school’s history with 49% of graduates qualifying to continue their studies at a university level. 

Sponsored student, Nichume Zamxaka, was Get Ahead’s top performing learner. She achieved seven of eight distinctions and has recently decided to pursue a career in math at the University of Cape Town. She shares an update:
It fills me with great pleasure and triumph to have known that I have completed my matric with excellent results. As silly as it may sound, the feeling of not going back to the Get Ahead school has not sunk in yet. The fear of moving to a new environment and having to adjust to certain cultures is overwhelming too. It's so funny how I was so excited about going to college last year but the mere excitement has died down because I can't bear the thought of being very far away from home. Nevertheless, I will pull through like I always do.

Having been a person who has always had an ongoing passion for Mathematics- well an intuition, to be exact, I have decided to take a leap of faith and do Actuarial Sciences at the University of Cape Town I am so excited about my course, it will change my perspective on a lot of things and what intrigues me the most is that I will take Economics- something I never did in high school.

Thank you very much to my sponsor family for the love and support that you have bestowed upon my family. No amount of words can show how grateful I am to have received such benevolence from you. I would love working with you some day and create an Education Trust for children with huge dreams, like I do. "If the sky is the limit, why do astronauts reach the moon?" 

Branksome Alumna Laura Carson sets up Get Ahead university fund

After a life-changing experience visiting Get Ahead in 2013 with her school, Laura Carson has become dedicated to helping GAP graduates in their post secondary studies.

Each year over the March Break, it is tradition for Branksome Hall students to visit Get Ahead and lead 'sister circles'. Laura was paired with a high school student named Sanele and they instantly became close friends. During this time, Laura learned that Sanele recently lost her parents and she was not sure she would be able to continue studying beyond high school because of costs. After returning home to Canada, Laura began fundraising and was able to fund Sanele's university tuition.

Inspired to do more, Laura is launching a university fund which will provide two graduates from Get Ahead with scholarships for tertiary studies. 

"Through this initiative, I hope to extend the opportunity to attend University to more intelligent, deserving, and capable students like Sanele. Despite being over 15,000 km away, I feel incredibly connected to the students of Get Ahead, and would like to do everything I can to help them reach their full potential."

The Leacock Foundation is thrilled to be a partner of this exciting initiative. Find out more and learn how you can help, please visit:
Get Ahead Project launches new school website
At the end of 2016, the Get Ahead Project launched their first school website. The website is easily accessible and a great tool for current and prospective students, parents, teachers and Canadian supporters alike to find out more about the school. Visit the website here:

Reserve your spot at the next Leacock Debate!


Please join us for an evening of wit and humour as we raise money for overnight summer camp opportunities for underserved youth in Toronto.

Event Details: April 25, 2017 at the Carlu (444 Yonge Street, 7th Floor)

Cocktails: 6:00 PM,  Dinner: 6:30 PM,   Debate: 7:45 PM

The Resolution: Be it resolved that sex, and all it entails, is better than hockey

The Players: Jan Caruana, Shawn Micallef, Nigel Sloan, Dave Bidini

The Moderator: Calvin Trillin

For more information about the event and/or to purchase your tickets, please contact Kristine at or 416-489-9309.

*Leacock members receive a complimentary ticket to the event. 
RSVP by April 7, 2017 to reserve your place!

Looking for a way to give back? Become a Leacock member!
You can make a direct impact in the lives of underserved youth. Join or renew your membership with the Leacock Foundation today to unlock the potential of tomorrow's leaders.

To learn more about membership, click here!
Become a member or renew today!
Under 45? Join the Young Professionals of Leacock
Questions about the Leacock Foundation?
Contact or call our office at 416-489-9309

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The Leacock Foundation · 2323 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada · Toronto, ON M4P 2C9 · Canada

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