With the pandemic slowing down, but not stopping, summer was still looking pretty bleak, especially for kids. But thanks to some ingenuity a local charity is giving kids a chance to go to camp, in a more creative way.
Sistema Toronto, a non-profit organization providing free after-school music and social education to children from marginalized communities across Toronto, has launched its #SendAKidToCamp fundraising campaign to host a free online music camp for its students this summer.
The Sistema Toronto program typically runs for 37 weeks during the school year, and is available for kids from low-income neighborhoods. Originally the organization planned to send 40+ children to an overnight music camp (National Music Camp. Now, given the closure of City of Toronto day camps and other summer activities, Sistema has pivoted to provide a free 8-week online music summer camp for their students.
With so many activities now unavailable to children from priority neighborhoods the summer, Sistema Toronto intends to provide vibrant and engaging activities to students each day. Students can participate in their Music & Movement, strings, and choir groups with their Sistema teachers and classmates for 4-5 hours each week.
“Sistema Toronto is committed to providing its students with an enriching summer experience,” said Executive Director Christie Gray. “The interactive nature of Sistema’s online sessions will allow students to connect socially with their friends, occupy their time with meaningful activities, and will enable their teachers to check in with them on a regular basis throughout the summer. We know many children are already feeling increased levels of anxiety and loneliness right now, and we’re hoping we can help ease this while ensuring summer 2020 can still be filled with many good memories during a difficult time.”
This new Summer initiative comes with some financial challenges. Sistema Toronto had not budgeted for programming over the summer, and had already faced budget cuts recently. While the initiative is partially funded by some generous donors, there are still gaps in funding. If you can, consider helping #SendAKidToCamp by donating at: https://www.sistema-toronto.ca/camp.