Toronto Maple Leafs Curtis Joseph and Alyn McCauley, along with team president Ken Dryden and John See, president and CEO of TD Waterhouse Canada gathered before an assembly of Princess Margaret Public School Students Monday, to kick off the second season of TD Waterhouse Leafs @ School.
This web-based initiative geared to students in grades four through six, reached 33,000 students in Ontario last year and this year's updated program is expected to exceed that number. Kids had the opportunity to participate in a Q & A with their hockey heroes who were there to stress the importance of learning and having fun with education.
"People learn better when presented with what they already know to help them understand what they don't," said Dryden. "Hockey may not be followed or understood by everyone, but little else offers us a more common reference point."
The TD Waterhouse Leafs @ School curriculum is accessible to teachers via the Internet at www.leafsatschool.com and offers one extensive teaching unit that incorporates four key subject areas: mathematics, social studies, health and physical education and arts. All of these subjects are taught in the context of hockey in order to clarify complex ideas and illustrate them using the various elements of hockey, which kids can relate to. The excitement of hockey also makes learning more fun.
"TD Waterhouse is proud to sponsor the Leafs @ School program," said See. "Understanding technology is very important, by supporting Internet based community programs, we are providing children with the skills necessary to be successful in the future."
The newly revised curriculum was developed by an advisory board of teachers, education administrators and researchers in the Greater Toronto Area, in accordance with the Ontario educational curriculum. TD Waterhouse Leafs @ School offers a number of activities and allows teachers maximum flexibility and is effective with a variety of different learning styles and academic capabilities.
"The Leafs and TD Waterhouse have teamed up to provide winning curriculum support for our schools. Their leadership together with the outstanding contributions of our excellent teachers will make a real difference to student learning," said Charles Pascal, executive director Atkinson Foundation and former deputy minister of education.
The Leafs @ School program will be supported throughout the year by Toronto Maple Leaf player appearances at schools in the community. Log on to www.leafsatschool.com or www.mapleleafs.com for more information.