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Showing posts from April, 2018

Catch da Flava Radio - Step Up

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For our April 26th edition of Health Talks Radio, we had a panel discussion to talk about another youth, health and wellness related movie. This week we talked about the 2006 American romantic dance film Step Up, starring Channing Tatum as Tyler Gage and Jenna Dewan as Nora Clark. The film follows badboy Tyler and dancer Nora paired up in a dance recital that can determine both their futures. They must find a way to work together and set their differences aside. Their first practice was a rough one and ended earlier then expected. Nora watches curiously from a window as Tyler dances with his friends, mockingly incorporating a mixture of break-dance and the ballet moves he just recently observed. Our panel talked about the amazing way that two different worlds collided can create something even more phenomenal than alone.


Tyler's friends the brothers Mac and Skinny have always had Tyler's back and he's always had theirs. But when he starts to develop a love for danc…

Music Program - April 2018

Every day students come to class, they leave learning one more important lesson about music production. At this point, students have gone beyond learning just the basics of backbeats, software instruments and moved on to bigger production elements including:

- The conventions of structuring pop music
- Understanding sequencer automations (adjusting the sounds of instruments based on time)

One of my favroites parts of this class has been listening to the different genres of music that students listen to and focusing on different composition strategies that are used in different genres. I'm learning that extremely different genres of music have a lot more in common than you might think!

Catch da Flava Radio - Youth Homelessness Panel Discussion

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For this episode of Health Talks Youth Radio, Diamond talks to our panel about youth homelessness. We talked about what defines “homelessness” for us and our shared experience meeting people facing homelessness. We talked about how we feel compassion for the people on the streets and observe how there are so many more living on the streets downtown than in suburban areas like Scarborough. Travis was curious to understand why this was an occurrence as he feels there are much more resources downtown to help the homeless than in suburban areas. Gisela points out a very important point which is the term “hidden homelessness” in which people may be homeless but “couch surf” or stay in recreation centres and so they are not visible.



Running down our understanding of homelessness, we discovered that there are different terms for homelessness such as chronic, transitional, and episodic. Chronic means a person has been homeless for an extended period of time, the traditional homelessness we a…

Catch da Flava Radio - Covenant House

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For our April 24th edition of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Diamond Bailey sat down and chatted to representative of Covenant House Brendan Halama. We learned that Covenant House is a worldwide organization, with organizations and programs in Canada, America, and even abroad. Covenant House serves youth by giving them a safe space to live if they find themselves homeless, showing them respect and unconditional love. Their location in Toronto is just downtown by Ryerson University and Dundas Square, at 20 Gerrard St. E. Youth can drop in and be assisted, given shelter and space to leave their belongings. In discussing the winter time, we understand that homelessness can be hard for youth and they still have support at Covenant House. It is really a judgment free space for youth.



Brendan works with Covenant House and has a great deal of experience helping youth and mentions that some youth can not be assisted through Covenant House such as youth under 16 because they are see…

Divas Spoken Word Showcase 2018

Divas Spoken Word Showcase April 20th 2018
It’s different planning for a showcase and much different seeing it in action. I wish I was brave enough to share spoken word with others on a stage. I guess, it was equal parts bravery and equal parts practice. It was my first showcase, so I did not know what to expect. I liked that because I liked being surprised. I liked not knowing what to expect even though I knew how from previous sessions. I felt like I had watched these young girls grow week to week through the construction of their pieces. I feel like an accomplishment for my last Diva’s blog. I got to the event and I loved the location, just geographically because it was across the Art Gallery of Ontario. The venue we went to also had an artsy energy to it that could allow creativity to grow. 
I loved the poems and spoken word because every piece had a piece of their life experience that spanned their religion, gender, school experiences with authority figures and even peer groups. I…

Catch da Flava - Blindside

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For our April 19th edition of Health Talks Radio, our panel talked about the movie The Blindside with host Travis and panelists Beverly, Diamond, and Judy. What’s your blindside? Who watches your blindside? These are probably questions you were asking yourself when you heard that the lovely Sandra Bullock was starring in a film called The Blind Side. This heart warming family movie will really capture your soul because it teaches you that family is family no matter the colour of your skin or where you grew up. It’s not about where you're from, it’s about how big your heart is. Michael Oher is a 17-year-old boy who has been transferred from foster home to foster home back to back because of his mother’s drug addiction. Everytime he gets a new home he runs away to his dad’s house where he sleeps on the couch. One day, his father introduced him to the coach of the high school he was currently attending (Wingate Christian School) and the coach was instantly amazed. One stor…

Catch da Flava Radio - Supporting Our Youth (S.O.Y.)

For the April 17th edition of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, our host Erika welcomed Karina Ramos in studio to talk about their placement experience at S.O.Y. which stands for “Supporting Our Youth” and is a safe space and LGBT+ positive environment for youth that identify themselves as part of the community. Located at 333 Sherbourne Street, it provides all kinds of events, programs, groups, and activities to help youth understand their sexual identity much better and be at home with themselves. S.O.Y. accepts youth 29 years and under and provides free services that range from housing, employment, and mentorship. As a placement student from their school, Karina identifies as queer and trans and says they loved the experience being part of the S.O.Y. family.

Discussing their experience in S.O.Y. Karina talked about what it’s like to do content for the organization, what it’s like to be part of the community, and why this was a fulfilling experience for them. Not only did Karina answer a…

Web Game Design - Workshop #1

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<start> Tuesday, April 17th marks the start of the Web Game Development Program. I am pleased to have participants of various coding backgrounds, who are eager to learn new skills. One student has self-taught experience, and another just wrote his first line of code in class Tuesday afternoon. We covered an introduction to the course, and discussed overall goals and possibilities. I included a fun quiz on Kahoot, and enrolled them in a simple Google Classroom that I created for file and information-sharing purposes. I taught a beginner lesson on how to use HTML and CSS Tuesday, and plan to begin the first project next week. My hope is to have participants form project teams in the following weeks, but some participants are only able to attend on specific days. As the course progresses, I am confident participants will have clearer goals as to what they want to create. For now, I am teaching the basic curriculum to the students, and also adapting it to individual skill-l…

The Women's Hour - "Lyme Madness"

For the April 14th episode of The Women's Hour, cohost Nina Reyes sat down with Lori Dennis about her book "Lyme Madness" and going through the odyssey of understanding Lyme Disease to help her son who got it while he was away and studying in New York, and the lack of support from the medical community. Helping the Lyme community out, Lori talks about the many ways the condition is not properly addressed by the medical community and how it has become a "Do-It-Yourself Disease".

Listen to Podcast:

Divas Girls Group - Circle Rock

The Diva Girls Group

April 13th , 2018

Today’s session is the last session before the Divas present their poetry pieces at the Art Square Café & Gallery. First, they started off with a 10-minute activity called Circle Rock; the Divas were required to go around the circle and answer the question, “What art project(s) do you want to work on for next year’s program?” Many of the Divas said art or adventure. Shortly after, the Divas were split into teams to play a 30-minute quiz. The quiz contained questions about previous sessions, staff members at Regent Park Focus and volunteers who have assisted with the Divas for the last couple months. The girls did an amazing job answering the questions on the quiz – team work, way to go girls!

The Divas then had a 15-minute snack break with delicious snacks and drinks. The Divas were then given team piece handouts which were filled with writing and editing tips along with performance tips for when they perform their poetry pieces at …

3D Modeling - Hyper Shade

The 12th of April saw the students learning skills in Maya (Hyper shade). At the end of the Lesson students can now apply color (blinn) to primitives using the hyper shade.
- Jude

Catch da Flava Radio - Babes Brigade

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For our April 10th edition of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Diamond sat down with the lovely and energetic Resident Babe, Stephanie Battieste who created the all-girls skateboarding group Babes Brigade. Stephanie was so excited to share all about her skateboarding group and what it does to bring new life to the skateboard scene. With a background in graphic design and fashion, Stephanie increasingly found more interest in skateboarding and started to post on social media when she would be out at the skate park, inviting and interested friends to come along. She subsequently developed a following that grew into Babes Brigade, a fun space for girls to gather and skateboard.
When asked why she wanted to create Babes Brigade, Stephanie said that whenever she went to the skate park, she often saw other girls there intimidated to be one of the few girls there in the skate park. Having girls together creates confidence for them to gather around and really learn the tricks of skate and lea…

Catch da Flava - Women in Sports

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For this portion of Health Talks Radio, host Diamond talked about women in sports and asked our panel of all-women outnumbering the lone male questions about women in sports. Travis, our only male panelists, claims he was not at all intimidated and switched into accents to ease the tension. In discussing the barriers to making sports more accessible to girls and women, Diamond talked about the discrepancies in women and men and mentioned she learned that the WNBA has smaller basketballs for women in the league than that of the NBA. Playing devil’s advocate, Judy mentions that perhaps this would be justified since women tend to be generally biologically smaller but in the vein of equity, then the hoops should be lowered to accommodate biology as well, to which Diamond does not believe has been done, which highly suggests there is discrimination in making basketballs smaller for the WNBA.


When talking about how sports helps men and women get healthy, we wonder if promoting sports as a …

Music Program - March 2018

March 2018

I’ve just finished month two of the music production program and I’m past the growing pains stages of the program and am finding a flow with the students that regularly return to the program.

I’m really grateful for all of the regular students because it means that we get to move past the introductory elements of using music production software. As the students develop familiarity with the program’s foundation, students are able to ask questions involving more advanced elements as the songs that the students work on find their sound.

Some students have asked to come in on off hours, which is great news for me as it suggests the students have found their own drive and motivation to create with this powerful software. And other students have asked for copies of their compositions so they could show their friends which means they’re really proud of their work!

This has been a really exciting program to work - especially as students develop the faculty to hone and develop thei…

Catch da Flava - Coach Carter

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In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California to get the basketball team in shape. With tough rules and academic discipline, he succeeds in setting the players on a winning streak. But when their grades start to suffer, Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. When he is criticized by the players and their parents, he sticks to his guns, determined that they excel in class as well as on the court.

We had a discussion panel about the movie for Health Talks Youth Radio on March 5th which has a lot to do with with youth health. In those days, basketball was all those boys had so it was literally you're either in the gym or on the streets. Some points that we came across was that it was hard out there for the parents and the youth. Everybody had their own issues and dilemmas which didn't leave much room for "proper parenting". One can only imagine so…

Catch da Flava - Youtube HQ Shooting

For this episode of Health Talks Youth Radio, Erika talked about the shocking shooting in San Bruno, California at Youtube headquarters. Happening in real time, all our youth panelists learned about the shooting as it unfolded individually, through various social media platforms. This comes at the heels of another recent shooting in Florida that prompted marches across America to stop gun use because of all the devastating news on unsafe gun use. The panel discussed the way in which it affected everyone, how it affects the emotional and mental health of people in a situation, and gun use in general. Erika mentions that when she started highschool and found out there was violence on sight, she ran home because she was so unfamiliar to such an experience that it so immediately affected her mental and emotional state. When discussing how gun violence affects use, we shared about our own memories of high school and incidents of violence occurring in the school system and how thi…

Catch da Flava - National Association of Cannabis Professionals

For our April 3rd episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Travis talked to president of the National Association of Cannabis Professionals, Carolyn Tinglin. In light of the passing of second reading for the bill to legalize marijuana in Canada, the government has predicted sale of recreational marijuana will likely take effect around the end of Summer, in September. From discussions on the bill, to the benefits of marijuana use for medical purposes, to how to understand and identify the difference between therapeutic use or substance abuse of marijuana, Carolyn is all answers for this conversation. She discusses what it is in marijuana that creates a “high” for users of the medicinal plant. She shares some important information when it comes to marijuana use in youth and how youth can address it in friends or in themselves.

When discussing why Carolyn decided to create the National Association of Cannabis Professionals (NACP), she cited her background work in nursing a…