Of Lego, lunch boxes and learn­ing

Wel­come to our 27th an­nual Pri­vate Ed­u­ca­tion Guide

The Kids Post - - News -

I’m torn about whether or not I ac­tu­ally like the month of Septem­ber. It’s a bit of a dou­ble-edged sword: it’s ac­tu­ally the best month weather-wise, but it’s also a stress­ful month.

It brings with it a sense of im­pend­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity. We all feel it. It’s a Pavlo­vian re­sponse to years of back-toschool prepa­ra­tion.

But these left­over feel­ings also bring with them a sense of re­newal. For stu­dents Septem­ber means new teach­ers, new friends and new classes — it’s a fresh start, a time to work harder and bet­ter than we did last year. This is the driv­ing force be­hind the Kids Post: to pro­vide tips, in­for­ma­tion and in­spi­ra­tion to make sure this school year will be bet­ter than the last one.

In this is­sue we pro­file two role mod­els from the GTA: Toronto artist Ekow Ni­mako, who found a way to par­lay his child­hood hobby — Lego — into a bur­geon­ing ca­reer in art; and De­nis Shapo­valov, the 17-yearold ath­lete from Rich­mond Hill who’s the newest ten­nis phe­nom to emerge from Canada. Their drive to suc­ceed is some­thing to which we can all aspire.

Veteran writer Joanne Kates has some solid ad­vice for hav­ing the dreaded “mar­i­juana talk” with your child (hint: just telling them not to do it is not enough), and Kathy Buck­worth polls teach­ers through­out the GTA for tips on how kids and par­ents can start the school year off on the right foot.

We’ve got your gear needs cov­ered, too, with a roundup of some se­ri­ously stylish Toronto-in­spired cloth­ing, along with a col­lec­tion of must-have lunch ac­ces­sories.

Mean­while, our fash­ion colum­nist, Jeanne Beker, picks out this year’s best sneak­ers for boys and girls, in­clud­ing a pair that would have made David Bowie proud.

In our food sec­tion, we had chef Rocco Agostino of Pizze­ria Li­bretto, along with his two kids, help us find the city’s best chicken fin­gers. They might not be the health­i­est of foods, but ev­ery kid on the planet seems to love them.

We also look into the ben­e­fits of out­door learn­ing, of which there are many, and the grow­ing trend of kids learn­ing how to code. That last item is be­com­ing ever more im­por­tant as tech jobs are grow­ing faster than they can be filled.

So yes, Septem­ber is a com­pli­cated month. But with a lit­tle bit of thought, prepa­ra­tion and fore­sight, it can be the best month of them all.

Kids Post ed­i­tor Jon Sufrin

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