By Gerald V. Paul
Global financier and Hadden Family Foundation President Glenn Hadden visited Charles Gordon Senior Public School last Friday and in a Santa-like fashion brought goodies: a $150,000 cheque.
The funding will help thousands of at-risk students learn to cook, finish their homework and get fit through after-school programs.
It’s in addition to more than $750,000 the Hadden Foundation has presented to the Toronto Foundation of Student Success (TFSS), the independent charitable foundation of the Toronto District School Board.
Hadden is a partner at Alphadyne Asset Management in New York, a former partner at Goldman Sachs and a senior executive at Morgan Stanley.
Through Hadden Family Foundation, the Toronto native is one of the leading advocates for youth education and development issues in Canada’s urban at-risk communities.
He connected with the students as they played an exhibition basketball game before tasting their handiwork in the kitchen. “Use this opportunity to be the best you can be and give back to your community,” he encouraged the students.
“The funds are being directed to support Beyond 3:30, an after-school program that gives students between the ages of 11 and 14 a safe and welcoming place for sports and physical fitness, a nutritious meal and homework support each school day – opportunities that are out of reach for most families facing poverty issues – as well as six Student Nutrition Programs in Scarborough schools,” explained Grenada-born Sandra Pierre, TFSS program manager.
Beyond 3:30 keeps over 1,200 middle school kids in high-risk areas safe and engaged from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. every school year. TFSS supports more than 700 breakfast, lunch and snack programs, providing over 160,000 meals daily.
“One in three children in Toronto lives in poverty,” Pierre noted. “TFSS helps hundreds of thousands of children in need but we can’t do it alone.
“Let’s continue to put a meal on a hungry child’s plate or give a teenager a winter coat. It will also help open a spot for a middle school student in an after-school program or put glasses on a child who can’t see the chalkboard.”
TFSS, with the help of their partners, provides vision and hearing checks and optometry clinics for over 16,000 students in nearly 150 of their neediest schools. Glasses are provided free of charge.