A day at York University for Grade 9 students

Yesterday, York University hosted Grade 9 students from across the GTA. for Take Our Kids to Work Day. Among them were Laura Ovens and Lucie Simco. They wrote this story about their experience and took the photographs.

Our names are Laura Ovens and Lucie Simco. We are part of a group of Grade 9 students who came to York for the Take Our Kids To Work Day. Lucie’s aunt is Martha Tancock, who works in the Marketing & Communications Division at York University, as a writer for YorkU magazine and a contributor to YFile. We came to York to experience a day in her life and to find out about the University. 

Right: Laura Ovens (left) and Lucie Simco

Lucie goes to Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto and Laura goes to Northern Secondary School in Toronto. We met at 7:30am at Lucie’s house, and then left to meet Lucie’s aunt at the subway station. From there we took the bus from Downsview directly to York’s Keele campus.
York University organized a series of events for the Take Our Kids to Work day. Some were geared to teaching us about the University, others were just for fun. (Editor’s note: Laura and Lucie met with some of the staff in Marketing & Communications at York University to learn about what they needed to do to prepare an article for YFile about their experiences. They were provided with a digital camera and a notebook to record their day.)

The first part of our day began with a tour the University’s Keele campus. At the beginning of the tour we listened to David Huckvale, associate director of recruitment & marketing at York University. He gave a presentation with some interesting slides and great facts about York. We learned a great deal about the University — such as there are trees on the Keele campus that are direct descendants of Newton’s apple tree and that there are four libraries on campus. We also learned about some of York’s grads including the popular movie star Rachel McAdams.

After listening to Huckvale’s presentation, we split up into groups and took a tour of the Keele campus. Our two tour guides, Nick and Ka, both students in first year at York, were very friendly and fun, and gave us a great tour. They showed us some of the important buildings on campus, such as Vari Hall and the new Accolade West Building.

Right: Tour guides Ka (left) and Nick
After the tour ended, we went for free pizza lunch at Michelangelo’s Cafeteria located in the Atkinson College buiding. The lunch was provided by the University. During the lunch, we got a chance to talk to other kids about their experience in the morning.

Amanda Juric got to help her father Tony Juric winterize the irrigation system, as well as ride around in a University truck. Tony is a horticulturalist on campus. Amanda is in Grade 9 at Robert F. Hall Collegiate in Caledon East, Ont. Her favourite part of the day was geting a chance to miss school and to meet new people. She said it was a great learning experience. 

Left: Amanda Juric with her father Tony          
We also got to talk to Grade 9 student Danielle Hammond, who said that her favourite part of the tour was jumping up and down in Vari Hall to make loud vibrations. (We did that too; our tour guide explained the building was designed to make echoes.) Danielle came with her mother, Rose Hammond, who is a financial aid advisor.    
Our favourite part was seeing all the University students and being exposed to the campus atmosphere and the everyday life at York. We also really liked meeting new people. 

Overall, this year’s Take Our Kids to Work Day was the best one yet, said Marian Hissa, manager of administrative services, Human Resources Department and one of the organizers of York’s Take Our Kids to Work Day. She said, ” It just keeps getting better every year because of the participation and it’s good for the kids to see what their parents do. This program has really grown over the years and has gotten more interesting.”

Right: Our tour group        
We were glad to take part in this educational and fun day. Thanks, York!        

Visit the the Take Our Kids to Work Day Web site for more information about the program and its goals.