Leaders Today

The Board has a partnership with Leaders Today (a partner of Free the Children)
to offer several programs in our elementary and secondary schools. Visit the
Me to We website for more details on the programs.

Volunteer Now!

Volunteer Now! is an innovative and dynamic youth leadership training program that engages students in meaningful local and global citizenship. Volunteer Now! works with educators and students across North America to foster cooperation, empathy, and responsibility among youth. Through interactive workshops, students gain the skills and inspiration to engage their classmates as active members of their school, community, and the world.

Volunteer Now! facilitators work with approximately 10 Ambassadors in each school, empowering these young people as leaders in their schools. Volunteer Ambassadors participate in three workshops throughout the school year provided by Volunteer Now! facilitators.

Through the Volunteer Now! Program, we have experienced a shift in classroom culture as more and more students recognize the need for positive change in the
world. Actions at our schools have included the Vow of Silence campaign, a
presentation on world hunger, promotion of environmentally sustainable initiatives, animal cruelty awareness campaigns, a Random Act of Kindness club, and an anti-bullying and anti-violence week. We are proud to participate in this life-changing program.

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

The Toskan Casale Foundation launched the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) in 2002. YPI provides high school students with an opportunity to award $5,000 grants to local social service groups that they research and advocate.

YPI is a unique and innovative approach geared to high school students in grades 9 and 10. The curriculum and course are prepared by an education and provided to schools free of charge. Through research, students learn about the problems facing their own communities.

The course works like this:
  • Students choose one charity after reviewing many candidates in their communities.
  • Students research that charity and complete a site visit.
  • Students prepare a proposal for a request for funding.
  • Using presentation skills, each student or team introduces its candidate to their own class. One proposal is selected to represent that class in a subsequent intramural competition.
  • Each class team presents proposals on their charity to an independent judging panel. One of these finalist teams from each school will be given $5,000 from the Toskan Casale Foundation to grant to the charity they represented.
Combining classroom learning with practical community experience, the students will gain skills in the art of researching grassroots organizations, proposal writing, public speaking, evaluation, analysis, and logical decision-making.

Areas such as Peterborough, Courtice, Bowmanville, Lindsay, and Cobourg have been reached through the YPI program, with over 500 students, 20 teachers, and 6 charities being impacted. The feedback from everyone involved has been extremely positive.

Take More Action!

Take More Action! is a youth speaking tour and leadership program that aims to motivate young people to create their ideal communities. Through unique presentations, Take More Action! has raised awareness of why community engagement needs to start within the youth generation. Youth become engaged in a new reality of local and global volunteerism.

The Take More Action! tour is effective for youth.
  • Deliberate and powerful storytelling decreases student apathy
  • Shared stories of involved youth increases rates of student volunteerism
  • Training teaches youth how to plan actions using their passions and gifts
The leadership workshop is a dynamic and interactive three-hour leadership workshop designed for 20 young leaders. In the workshop, facilitators:
  • Provide youth with the skills and tools needed to become leadership ambassadors in their school and community
  • Challenge young people to match their gifts to local and global issues that they are passionate about
  • Lead a session on creating action plans for youth to create opportunities within their peer groups to motivate interest
    and involvement
  • Ensure ongoing support and sustainability by creating an action network between workshop participants and
    Leaders Today staff
Take More Action! is designed for everyone and is especially meaningful for at-risk and special needs youth, who are encouraged to explore and develop their own skills and become active leaders in their communities.