Fingerlakes Mall Takes Action for Literacy


Literacy is a huge part of any individual’s ability to succeed and thrive in the world, so here’s a cause that cuts straight to our hearts: for the second year in a row, Fingerlakes Mall held a Mall Crawl for reading. It’s a center without a bookstore, but it has no shortage of eager young readers.

According to The Citizen, The Union Springs Literacy Professional Learning Community brought teachers in from six different school districts to bring the joy of reading to local children. The teachers sat in front of shops and read picture books to all the children that came to see them.

In exchange for taking the time to listen, the children were given raffle tickets for each story they heard. Retailers offered up prizes like chocolate, marker packs and portrait sittings to be raffled off.

From the newspaper:

“Karen Burcroff, the literacy group facilitator and the principal at A.J. Smith Elementary School, said the event is designed to make reading seem worthwhile to children.
“It stresses that reading is fun, and that you can do it anywhere,” she said. “Not only the teachers are saying that, but even the mall.”

Children in front of Maurice’s were weighing the relative virtues of urban and rural life with “Town Mouse, Country Mouse.” Jennifer Maloney, a seventh-grade English teacher at Union Springs, read the story.

“I think this is a great opportunity for kids to be exposed to a positive reading experience,” Maloney said. “So many of them have negative feelings about reading, so hopefully something like this can get them on a positive trend.”


Written by Nissa on February 29, 2012 – 6:39 pm -
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Meadowhall Recruits 12-year-old Team Member


Meadowhall Shopping Centre has plenty of summer entertainment planned for the kids, but one young man won’t be playing there this summer — he’ll be working. Owen Birkett, a 12-year old from Rotherham, has joined the team, as it were, as the center’s official Toy Tester.

Most jobs aren’t all fun and games, but this one sort of it. Over the course of the summer, Owen will be stopping by the center for an hour a week, and checking out all the cool new toys that come in. Unlike most toy testers, he’s not checking for safety or lead content — his job is all about fun. He’ll be playing with all the toys to see what’s best, and then he’ll be sharing that insight with center staff, and with parents and other kids on the center’s website. Folks following him might just get a first-hand sighting of the toys that will be hot this Christmas.

To snag this coveted position, Owen needed to compete with eight other short-listed children. They were judged on enthusiasm, confidence and ability to talk about the products. When all was said and done, he came out as the top applicant.

As Meadowhall’s Toy Tester, Owen won’t be pulling a salary. He’s a touch young for a real job yet. Instead, he’ll get to take home his favorites from the toys he tests this summer.


Written by Nissa on July 27, 2011 – 5:28 pm -
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Posted in This Week's News | 1 Comment »

Santa Takes an Early Trip South for Children’s Wish Foundation


We all know how incredibly challenging it can be to get the perfect Santa picture in December. Depending on the system in use, shoppers may not get their hands on the photos until it’s too late to send out cards. What a pain, right? So for shoppers that don’t want to risk the lines of late November, Pickering Town Centre is starting early this year. Really early. Say, July.

Okay, I might be overstating the issue a little bit. The Canadian centre isn’t actually starting its Christmas promotions quite this early. It just gave shoppers a sneak peek for a great cause. In order to drum up donations for the Children’s Wish Foundation, it’s holding Christmas in July. Santa will be on hand for free photos (a great way to get a jump-start on that Christmas card).

At the same time, the center is taking advantage of this early holiday sentiment to run a design competition for kids. Shoppers 16 and under can enter their designs for the center’s 2011 holiday gift card, and the artist that creates the winning design will take home a $250 center gift card.

Talk about getting your Christmas checklist done early.


Written by Nissa on July 20, 2011 – 5:04 pm -
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H&M Loves Disco, and Teachers


H&M is bringing Baby Loves Disco to Tuscon Mall to launch it’s children’s summer clothing line.

It’s a family-friendly dance party that features classic disco tracks from the 70s and 80s. With lots of bright, shiny, high-energy clothes in this year’s kids line, the dance is just the right fit. It’s designed to keep moms and dads happy with the kids are having a good time. The dance features real music spun and mixed by real DJs, so the little ones will get moving and the parents might just want to join in.

There are lots of other children’s activities planned for the day, including arts and crafts, temporary tattoos, and face painting.

Though the party is free to all, the center is asking families that attend to donate to DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit foundation that asks public school teachers to post classroom project requests and lets donors pick what they’d like to support. Whether they want to fund class microscopes, musical instruments or something as simple as pencils for class, the foundation offers plenty of choice.


Written by Nissa on May 25, 2011 – 5:58 pm -
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Back to School Rocks at Erin Mills


Back to School is big, scary, fun time for students of all ages, but it’s marketed mostly to parents, teens and college students. How about something for the kids?

Erin Mills Town Centre is making back-to-school fun for the younger set next week with its School of Rock. Kids aged 4-12 will find that back-to-school rocks with a lot of great activities.

The “Main Stage” event is Rock 101, a 45-minute session that teaches the most important fundamentals of rock: creating rock star “must haves” like personalized guitars, crazy band names, posters and buttons. They will also learn how to rock back-to-school fall fashions, with lucky participants chosen to take part in the School of Rock fashion show.

Also, the event will remind kids (and this probably won’t surprise them) that Chocolate Rocks! The Chocolate Rocks event will give kids the chance to make a chocolate pizza. Mommy & Me Yoga will be extra cool with health tips for back to school and yoga poses that can be done anywhere. And kids can learn how to throw a real rock ‘n roll Arty Party with Visual Arts Mississauga.

Families can commemorate the event with the School of Rock Photo Booth. Families can pick rock star inspired costume pieces from a tickle truck, have their hair spruced up, create cool glasses, and have their photo taken – all with the help of several of the mall’s retailers.

And finally, one of the coolest events: Rock Band Show and Tell. The Ontario Conservatory of Music will be demonstrating how to rock with cool instruments such as the bass, guitar and keyboards. Kids will get the hands-on experience to be a real rock star, which will make a great entry in “What I did on my summer vacation.”


Written by Nissa on August 25, 2010 – 6:31 pm -
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Posted in This Week's News | No Comments »

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