Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just a Thought...

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  [George Bernard Shaw]

Mike and I are taking a bit of a longer weekend than usual, gearing up for Back to Everything on Tuesday.  But I wanted to tell you about a place that demonstrates that education doesn't start (or end) when you leave high school.  In fact, this place is all about completing one journey and preparing for another.  And isn't that what this weekend is all about, too?

I've written about this in the past and will always feel like this, I suspect: the impending start of a new school year fills me with more desire for fresh beginnings than January 1st.  To me, this is the REAL New Year's Eve; we're on the threshold of something that has the possibility of opening doors to life-changing options.  It's a whole new world and starts in just a few days.

For some students, it's an ongoing process.  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting a school that is fairly near our cottage: the Learning Centre for Georgina.  I was invited there by Executive Director Grant Peckford (he's standing to my left in the picture below).  Grant felt that as someone who resides in northern York Region, I might want to see one of its brightest lights.

And bright it is.  Although I was there when just a few students were in attendance (summertime can be quiet, as young parents wish to be with their children), I'm told the school is a community-based, charitable organization offering FREE academic and essential skills upgrading.  It's a popular means by which adults and youth can earn their Grade 12 GED or ACE, earn credits towards OSSD, prepare for college, upgrade apprenticeship training and basically do what needs to be done to ready them to enter or re-enter the workplace.

There's on-site child minding available, day and evening programs and flexible hours.  The LCG does everything but come to your house to get you to resume and augment your education (but there is a bus that stops right outside the school on Woodbine Avenue in Keswick).  The people are warm and welcoming, the atmosphere clean, bright and modern.  And, of course, they need money to stay open.

There's a big party happening in just a few weeks - a raffle, barbecue and silent auction - in Aurora and the country crossover band Lonestar (as well as Beverley Mahood) will be performing.  Tickets are $75 each and it's September 13th 5 pm to midnight, with another event also taking place the night before - all part of the 26th annual Magna Wild Wild West Hoedown.  The event, which raised $567,000 last year, is helping out 15 local charities this year, including the Learning Centre for Georgina.  So please, if you're looking to kick up your heels or just enjoy some great music, consider coming out.  You can get tickets through numerous merchants or at  There's even a silent auction item - a visit to 98.1 CHFI - being offered on Friday.  Don't miss your chance to "witness the witless".

And if you want to find out more about the Learning Centre for Georgina, by all means email them: or check out their website (  They're very friendly folks who are also looking for volunteers.  So if you're a teacher who's perhaps retired and finding yourself at odds and ends with a new school year beginning, please consider giving Grant and his staff a call.  You may just find that the benefits don't all flow in one direction.  Happy Labour Day weekend.  As the song goes, "See You in September"...!

Have a wonderful weekend - we'll be back with you on Tuesday and thank you for coming by.

(@CHFIErin on Twitter)


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