Head, Heart and Hands

How one school in Richmond Hill is building citizenship from the ground up.

It doesn’t take long for someone new to TMS to see that it is a very special place. Throughout the school, from the youngest learners in the Toddler Program to alumni who return again and again to visit, students are not only passionately engaged in their academic pursuits but committed to improving the world around them.

Citizenship and giving back are important parts of student life at TMS. Across all levels of the school, students initiate ways to raise funds for worthwhile causes, donate their time to build awareness of social issues and use their powerful voices to make change happen. Through a framework for community giving called Head, Heart and Hands, students connect with the “what and why” behind a cause (Head), understand what causes them to care and feel that this is an important issue for them to support (Heart), and then take action and put their learning into practice (Hands).

“While it’s important that our students excel academically, it’s not enough,” says David Young, Head of School at TMS. “We want TMS graduates to find Significance; to seek to contribute to the world around them, to engage, to make an impact and to serve their communities.” This idea of Significance is woven into all parts of the TMS Community, including engagement with TMS parents, staff and faculty through the school’s Culture of Giving that asks all stakeholders to offer support through time, talent and treasure. “Time” defines and celebrates meaningful volunteer opportunities, “talent” refers to opportunities where parents lend the school their expertise in some way and “treasure” refers to philanthropic donations to TMS. All three are equally valued at the school.

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“Just as we work with our students to understand the ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ approach to charitable support, we take a similar approach with our TMS Community. Every way an individual or family chooses to engage or support our school is meaningful and we want it to be a happy and joyful experience,” says Kirsten Eastwood, Executive Director of Community Development at TMS.

“As a not-for-profit organization, we know the power of philanthropy and what it has enabled our school to become. We are so grateful for the generous support of our families and are looking forward to what their continued support will help us do in the future,” says Ms. Eastwood.

That future is not far away, as TMS is currently building new, beautifully designed spaces through the philanthropic support it has received to date. “These new spaces are ones in which our students will try something new, meet friends, build resilience, develop an entrepreneurial mindset and, in short, thrive,” says Mr. Young. For more information about TMS, visit: www.tmsschool.ca

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