Bring back ArtsJunktion with Eileen Orr.
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ArtsJunktion headed by Eileen Orr for the past 25 years services 60-90 teachers per day, or 5,000 per year, providing free creative supplies (for plays, events, art projects, kindergarten learning tools) as well as basics for those in need (binders, paper, pens). The vast network of suppliers Eileen Orr has built (including Indigo, Lush, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and hundreds more) donates $500,000 worth of supplies annually, and is accessed by teachers and daycare workers from Scarborough to North York to Etobicoke. ArtsJunktion repurposes items such as musical instruments and toys to corrugated paper. Even entire movie sets are dismantled and reused to decorate for fundraising events. Eileen makes use of it all.
Keeping the space open costs less than $50,000 annually, including Eileen’s salary and a transportation budget. For every dollar the TDSB spends, it receives $10 in return. This is exactly the kind of program the TDSB needs to keep.
If you are someone who is passionate about ArtsJunktion, please write emails to the individuals below. Please forward to friends at other schools and ask them to tell their parent councils about it. I don’t think parents and students are aware how much their teachers rely on ArtsJunktion! The teachers are gutted. Unfortunately they are not permitted to speak out on any issue against the TDSB, so parent voice is the only voice that will be heard.
Dr John Malloy, Director of Education, TDSB - firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Pilkey, Board Chair, TDSB - email@example.com
Kathy Witherow, Associate Director, Leadership, Learning and School Improvement, TDSB - firstname.lastname@example.org
Our school trustee - Stephanie.Donaldson@tdsb.on.ca
I have heard that ArtsJunktion, a vital resource hub for thousands of teachers in the GTA, is being permanently disabled. Four hours per week is not nearly enough to service the 60-90 teachers who come through its doors daily and rely on its supplies for classroom projects, plays, events, kindergarten tools, as well as for basic items like binders that some students can’t afford. It is a vital resource for many programs run within the TDSB and speaks to the importance of repurposing and reusing items that would other wise to headed to the land fill.
Eileen Orr brings in $500,000 worth of donations annually at a cost to the TDSB of less than $50,000. This is a unique skill set she has in her relationships with hundreds of corporate and non-profit partners, that is not replaceable. This is exactly the type of program you should be keeping. Teachers and students are simply going to go without. As a person, Eileen is integral to the success of the operation. It is her passion, sense of purpose and creative enhancement that makes her necessary to the operation.
I urge you to reopen ArtsJunktion in its prior capacity, three full days per week, and to reinstate the only person capable of operating this kind of program, Eileen Orr. It is her passion, dedication, and unique skill set which makes her the only one to do the job on such a small budget.
Toronto Star article about ArtsJunktion.
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