Here is the news you have been waiting for! Turning Points is growing across the country — New Brunswick, Calgary, Sudbury, Newfoundland, Brantford and GTA! This year we had over 12, 700 students writing Turning Points essays in class. From the allocated essays that were submitted, we had two rounds of judging. Tier 1 judging in the GTA was done by our teacher candidates at York University, Glendon College and OISE/UT. Tier 2 judging was done by authors, storytellers, editors, retired literacy and French coordinators, principals, lawyers, bankers, accountants, life coaches and community development partners.
The judges who have been involved for many years commented the quality of student writing. Judging the essays was extremely difficult as they were all of such high quality and the scores were very, very close.
First place: Maurice Cody PS – Julia Dobrowolski
Little Red Gloves
The Salvation Army building in Regent Park scared me the first time I saw it. A large barbed wire fence surrounded the parking lot, and there was garbage piled up outside the door. It was a PA day in December and my mom was taking me and my sister to work with her at the Salvation Army.
We carried heavy bins full of donated toys as we headed up the stairs. When we got to the top, my mom was greeted by countless people, all with big smiles and red aprons. It was the annual Christmas centre, where the people in the community could come in and pick out donated gifts for their children. Weeks had been spent setting up and you could tell, the whole place looked beautiful.
I found out I was going to be a personal shopper, someone who helps people find gifts. My first customer was a mom, picking out presents for her six year old daughter. After she chose a Barbie doll and a stuffed animal, I led her towards the table that had adult gifts on it. Everyone who came in got a gift, to show them that they aren’t forgotten. When I handed her a pair of little red gloves she almost started to cry because she was so happy.
That’s when I had my turning point. I go on three vacations a year and I’m never as grateful as this woman, and all she got was one small pair of gloves. Its amazing that something that small could make such a big difference. I thought to myself “what if all I got for Christmas was a pair of red gloves?” Then I had an idea: it doesn’t matter how many presents you get, because the presents you give are more important. When I looked back at the building as I was leaving, I didn’t see scary barbed wire fences or lots of garbage, I saw Christmas.