Ninth Annual Walk with Excellence  is back

By Stephen Weir

Pan on the Walk

For all the Grade 12 students in the Jane Finch corridor’s four High Schools who have successfully completed their final year it is almost, and we stress the word almost, all over. The last “No more pencils, no more books no more teachers’ dirty looks” have been sung, it is now time for 500 teenagers to end their high school days by dancing in the street.

Get on your walking shoes kids, a 9-year tradition is about to start anew.  Postponed for two June years in a row because of the Covid shutdown, the Walk with Excellence Celebration will once again hit Sentinel Rd the morning June 8th to introduce the new grads to nearby York University and their next level of higher education.

 All are welcomed to celebrate this year’s graduates from the four high schools: CW Jeffreys, Westview, Emery and Downsview high. All four institutions are within walking distance of York University (north of Finch Avenue and Sentinel Rd.),

 The event begins at 10 AM inside CW Jeffreys with a kick-off of student presentations on school auditorium,” organizer Itah Sadu explained to the Caribbean Camera.” Following this is the 5km graduating parade of approximately 500 students to York University where a celebratory lunch and student awards will be shared.”

Class of 2020

The Celebration March begins at 11am. The teenagers will carry school banners and signs will head up the street to York.  Making sure the graduating students arrive safely, CUPE 4400 union members and volunteers from the Toronto Caribbean Carnival will act as parade marshals along Sentinel Road.

Once at York the students will gather in a courtyard and listen to live music and to brief speeches from organizer Itah Sadu and senior officials of the university.

After the formal speeches have been given and  student friendly meals are served there will be Caribbean music in the air. “We are also pleased to welcome Pannist Earl La Pierre Jr with his vivacious musical energy to the celebrations,” said Itah Sadu.

The point of the annual parade is to mark the graduation of the students and to encourage them not to end their studies after Grade 12.  Many of the students have probably never toured York – this event will give them that opportunity.

The Walk With Excellence was started by Itah Sadu and the Blackhurst Cultural Centre (Formerly A Different Booklist Cultural Centre).