Wednesday, August 5, 2020


July Parents' Workshop Recap: Racial Discrimination, Student Support & STEM at Home Workshop


By Ingrid Li / Aug. 5, 2020



On July 25th 2020, Vision Youth hosted an online workshop on racial discrimination, student support, and interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational games. The workshop featured guest speakers Amy Go, the founding president of Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, Youmy Han, a staff member from the Honourable Mary Ng MP’s office, and Franco Lam, a Chief Development Officer of Dotdotfire.com.


Amy Go discussed racism in schools and how the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice (CCNCSJ) was founded in 1980 to educate, engage and advocate for equity and justice for all. She proceeded to explain the importance of getting children to build confidence through understanding their Chinese Canadian history and identity, and learn how to react when experiencing racist attacks or isolation. Moreover, Amy stressed the necessity of communicating with schools about the safety and racial measures that will be taken once schools reopen. Several questions that should be brought out are how the spread of the virus and racism will be prevented, if there will be tools to equip teachers to address anti-Asian racism, and the school’s policies on equity, anti-racism and inclusion. CCNCSJ has also been working on an anti-Asian racism project where an online reporting tool was made as well as social media campaigns to bring awareness. Furthermore, they will be collaborating with the City of Toronto and Vision Youth on another research project called PROTECH. Most importantly, they will be providing focus group consultations on August 8-9 for children and guardians who speak English, cantonese and mandarin. The organization can be contacted through national@ccncsj.ca.


The second portion of the workshop was continued by Youmy Han, who spoke about the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since many students are struggling to support themselves with school and classes being interrupted, the government has added 10, 000 new jobs. They have also increased wage subsidy until February 28, 2021 to give people the opportunity to hire others for part time jobs for a longer period of time. Meanwhile, a 6 month interest fee moratorium on Canada’s student loans from March 30 to September 30 to take off financial pressure from students. Likewise, Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) has provided $1250 monthly to help graduates who don't have CERB and an extra $750 per month for those who have disabilities. Additionally, Canada's service grants $500 for postsecondary students or recent graduates who want to volunteer for non profit organizations until October 31. The website canada.ca/covid19 can be visited for more information about support programs for youth and international students.


Lastly, Franco Lam introduced an organization called Dot Dot Fire, a startup from Hong Kong that has been expanded to the United States. Since online learning has started, various problems have arisen. Students are either not joining in the calls or are disengaged and unmotivated. This organization conducted an experiment where they were able to keep 10 year old students fully engaged online for over an hour. This was through the use of games; the perfect medium for motivation as it is the language of the current generation. Games can be used as a connection between teachers and students and the STEM program gives kids the chance to learn more about math, aviation and engineering principles. The class usually starts with a video game to motivate the class followed by a design project where students will continue to conduct scientific experiments outside of class. Some STEM games are also available on Dot Dot Fire’s website. Another game that is currently being made by this organization is a financial literacy game where kids can learn not to be impulsive, to be smart with money and to be a smart consumer. Through this simulation game, they must apply critical life skills, decision making and career/life choices. Overall, though remote learning can be challenging, it is necessary to find high quality education to keep kids motivated and engaged. During online learning, students will be given the opportunity to learn things that perhaps they've been wanting to learn for a long time. 


All in all, the speakers from this workshop provided more insight on the action to be taken from the government as well as schools and organizations to help students adapt to the current situation.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Learning Remotely and Family Time Workshop

Ingrid Li

Learning Remotely and Family Time Workshop



On June 20th 2020, both Visioneers and their parents were given the opportunity to join an online workshop regarding online learning and staying healthy as a family. The workshop was hosted by Benjamin Law, a secondary school teacher and Joanne Tang, a teacher liaison from the Chinese Heritage Community, both from the York Region District School Board.

During the first portion of the workshop, Benjamin Law explained what exactly online learning was, how all students learn differently and the necessity of maximizing learning opportunities during these unprecedented times. Online learning is not suitable for all students of all spectrums especially with the different platforms, formats and methods of delivery from teachers. Not only are students affected, but teachers and parents are as well. Many teachers do not have experience teaching online and often struggle with using new technologies. Likewise, parents are facing challenges balancing work and their child’s emotional and physical needs. These problems lead to various concerns that can be resolved through communicating with teachers and guidance counselors or speaking to the child. There are also many other ways for parents to be involved with their child’s learning. Firstly, they must understand that online learning is very different from learning at school and thus they shouldn't keep the same expectations for their child and should instead learn to understand their limits. They can help by setting schedules and teaching self discipline to maintain the child’s motivation throughout online learning. Most importantly, it is crucial to understand that even though school is very important, it is not everything. We must find time for ourselves during isolation and from learning different skills to building stronger relationships with family, we can learn to appreciate these times of quietness.

In the second half of the presentation, Joanne Tang mentioned the difference between mental health and mental illness. Mental health being the ability to realize your own strengths, cope with normal stress and make contributions to the community, and mental illness being a wide range of mental health conditions that affects mood, thinking and behaviours. Overall, it is necessary for parents to pay attention to changes in their child’s behaviour, friends, appetite, sleep and energy level. Once aware of any mental issues, parents should talk to the child, their doctor or a mental health expert. Joanne brought up a mental health organization called Hong Fook Mental Health Association that could give the required assistance to families. This organization offers clinical counselling, preventative programs, social skills workshops and consultations that are free of charge. There is also school support from guidance counsellors and social workers that parents can easily email or give a call to. Lastly, Joanne recommended a few things to do during quarantine such as creating routines, being active, taking breaks and spending time with family.

This talk was a great opportunity to know more about challenges from online learning, possible mental health concerns and ways to reach out for help. Even though we don’t know when this pandemic will end, hopefully everyone will stay positive and healthy during these times of uncertainty.

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Founded in 2001, Vision Youth Leadership Program is a non-profit organization that aims to help youths develop life skills, nurture their social skills, and prepare them for a successful future. Different from the traditional teaching approaches which educate them mainly through academic knowledge, Vision Youth emphasizes on exploring the potential of our participants, enhancing their social skills and organizing outdoor activities which allow them to stay close to nature. Furthermore, Vision Youth provides a good learning experience for the participants, ensuring their communication skills, public speaking skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, collaboration skills and self-confidence can be strengthened. It is also our goal that students would understand and love nature better and that their social and political awareness, and personal responsibility can be raised after taking part in our program.

For more information about Vision Youth Leadership Program, please visit our website at www.visionyouth.ca, or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/visionyouth/, or email to info@visionyouth.ca, or contact us at 416-800-4040.

For more information about our past activities, feel free to visit our bloghttp://www.visionyouthblog.blogspot.ca/. Blog posts in both Chinese and English version are available for readers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bronze Visioneers Participated in Mock Council Debate in Toronto City Hall


Jodee Fok Wing Tung
With the help of Toronto City Councillor Anthony Perruzza, the Bronze Visioneers visited the Toronto City Hall and participated in a mock council debate activity on 10th August 2019. Franco Ng, who worked as an assistant of a city councillor, introduced to the Visioneers the history, management structure and daily operation of the City Hall, as well as sharing with them the jobs and responsibilities of a city councillor. Franco believed that it is possible for anybody to make changes in their city. He encouraged the Visioneers to voice out their opinion and raised their enthusiasm in taking part in political events.
Apart from visiting the City Hall, the Visioneers had an experience being a city councillor to give a speech and vote, enhancing their understanding on the decision-making process in the council. The topic for the debate was whether laneway housing scheme should be implemented. The Visioneers were free to choose a stance and developed their own arguments. At the same time, Franco and other counsellors took the role of the mayor and public members. Not only did they ask questions regarding the arguments made by each Visioneer, they also ensured that the council meeting was held solemnly and smoothly. The Visioneers were able to consider the issue from various perspectives, for instance, property price, privacy issues, legal status of laneway housing and possible effects on corresponding neighbourhoods. Also, they were able to answer most of the questions asked by the public members and make an argument backed up with research and statistics.
In this mock council debate, more than 2 hours were spent in discussing the motion. In reality, councillors are facing mounting pressure as they need to deal with different opinions and proposals from the public of 44 districts. It is believed that after experiencing this mock council debate, the Visioneers had a better understanding on the jobs of the council and realized that political participation is one of the major ways to make changes in the community. It is hoped that they will get involved in more political events in the future and bring new blood to the political sector.

Founded in 2001, Vision Youth Leadership Program is a non-profit organization that aims to help youths develop life skills, nurture their social skills, and prepare them for a successful future. Different from the traditional teaching approaches which educate them mainly through academic knowledge, Vision Youth emphasizes on exploring the potential of our participants, enhancing their social skills and organizing outdoor activities which allow them to stay close to nature. Furthermore, Vision Youth provides a good learning experience for the participants, ensuring their communication skills, public speaking skills, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, collaboration skills and self-confidence can be strengthened. It is also our goal that students would understand and love nature better and that their social and political awareness, and personal responsibility can be raised after taking part in our program.

For more information about Vision Youth Leadership Program, please visit our website at  www.visionyouth.ca, or Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/visionyouth/, or email to info@visionyouth.ca, or contact us at 416-800-4040.

For more information about our past activities, feel free to visit our bloghttp://www.visionyouthblog.blogspot.ca/. Blog posts in both Chinese and English version are available for readers.