to Alpha!

Farewell, Sue!

Posted by Ryan on December 5, 2012

Sue’s retiring at the end of December, 2012! For 31 years, she has given her heart, creativity and unflappable wisdom to ALPHA and we’re going to miss her!

Sue loves to hear about what grads are up to these days, testimonies about their time at ALPHA, as well as collecting/seeing vintage photos. Send her a message by email at: suhesss <at>

Thanks for all the memories – we’ll miss you, Sue!

Handmade goodies for sale at the Bazaar

Posted by Ryan on November 30, 2012

We have a sweet variety of kid-made, eco-friendly and handmade items for sale at the Bazaar tomorrow.

Here’s our growing list of goodies:

* ALPHA T-Shirts
* Felt Decorations (animals, fairies, monsters)
* Greeting Cards
* Flower Jewellery (pins, earrings, rings)
* Wildflower Seed Bombs
* Crochet Dishcloths
* Knitted Scarves
* Cloth Gift Bags
* Curry Lentil Soup-in-a-Jar with Beeswax Cloth (a re-useable alternative to plastic wrap)
* Buttons
* Bubble Blowers
* Bicycle Colouring Books
* and more!

Check out the details in our previous post about our annual Bazaar!

ALPHA Bazaar – December 1, 2012

Posted by Ryan on November 13, 2012

40 years of re-using and re-purposing:

Annual ALPHA School Bazaar Offers Green Families an eco-friendly shopping and eating adventure

Kids need stuff, sometimes lots and lots of stuff. For almost 40 years our school community has hosted the ALPHA Alternative School Bazaar offering families eco-friendly relief from the expensive gifts, toys and clothing that kids need.

ALPHA Alternative School is excited to announce its annual Bazaar and Café. Offering previously loved clothing (children’s and adult) toys, house wares, books, giftware, baked goods and handmade crafts, this annual fundraiser offers something for everyone, at a suggested admission price of $2.

The Bazaar will be held:

December 1st, 2012

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre

427 Bloor Street West (near Spadina), Toronto

Benefiting the School’s programs and activities, the Bazaar has become a favourite for savvy, frugal, eco-shoppers. “The Bazaar is truly a shopping adventure. It is amazing to see items being past from family to family. The ALPHA Café offers a delicious vegan lunch and snack menu, where tired shoppers can relax with a cup of gourmet coffee after searching out their treasures,” explains ALPHA parent Emily Paradis. “And for those difficult-to-shop-for members of the family, the Bazaar has a Unique Boutique where shoppers will find unusual, memorable and vintage gifts that you won’t find anywhere else!”

Watch this site and for updates.

Reunion Schedule!

Posted by Mary Harmer on September 27, 2012

Ready? Set? Go! It’s time for ALPHA’s 40th Anniversary Reunion! Here’s the schedule:


9AM-3PM Come back to school for the day at 20 Brant St., and see what today’s ALPHA kids are up to.

4PM-6PM Games at Dufferin Grove Park.

6PM Community supper at Dufferin Grove Park. First come, first served, vegetarian and vegan options, $7+.

7PM Lion Dance by ALPHA kids (past and present)

7:30PM Campfire, singalong, roasted marshmallows.


10AM-12PM Setup at ALPHA, 20 Brant St. Come early and pitch in!

Please bring finger foods to share, with a list of ingredients. To drink, we’ll have water available, and juice for sale.

There will be lots of activities for kids: an archeological dig, face painting, nail painting, hairdos, etc.

12PM Festivities begin. Make a name button and sign the guest book (outside.) Check out the displays inside the school. Say hello to all your friends! Buy an ALPHA t-shirt (outside, limited quantities.) Roti and black bean tacos available for sale (outside, limited quantities.)

Alums: be interviewed by a current ALPHA kid for a film about ALPHA (inside.)

1:30 Storytime with John Leonard (inside)

1:30-4:30 Photobooth (outside). One visit for $5/three visits for $10.

2:00 Circle sing with Jennie Lea (outside)

2:30 Music and reminiscences begin, continue for rest of the afternoon (outside stage.)

3:00 One of the founding families, the Langs, talk about the early days (outside stage.)

3:15 1970s Decade alum photo on front steps.

3:30 1980s Decade alum photo on front steps.

3:45 1990s Decade alum photo on front steps.

4:00 2000s Decade alum photo on front steps.

4:00 Hotdogs for sale outside–veggie and meat available.

5:00 Giant birthday cake (outside)

6:00-7:00 Cleanup time! Please join in!

Countdown Begins to ALPHA’s 40th Anniversary Reunion!

Posted by Mary Harmer on August 29, 2012

After many months of action-packed planning, the Reunion Committee is pleased to announce a fabulous lineup of festivities in celebration of ALPHA’s 40th anniversary. Here are the details:

9/28: The warm-up.

Head “back to school”–grads are welcome to visit ALPHA during the day. We’ll head over to Dufferin Grove Park after school for games, an outdoor locavore vegan-option dinner cooked and sold by park volunteers ($7+, starts around 6PM), and an extra-spiffy campfire where you can roast marshmallows, just like the annual school camping trips of yore, but better. Bring your guitar/banjo/uke for a campfire singalong. Done by 9:30PM. Only cancelled in case of extreme weather.

9/29: The main event.

Noon to 6PM at ALPHA, 20 Brant St. (Those who want to help with setup, please come as early as 10AM.) When you arrive, start by finding the button making station, and make a button with your name on it. The festivities will include photo and video displays and video game stations inside the school, and music, speeches, and kids’ activities outside. Limited quantities of roti and black bean tacos will be available for sale. Most of the food will be *potluck*–please bring finger foods and a list of all ingredients. A big birthday cake will end the day, and in true ALPHA fashion, everyone will pitch in to *clean up* from 6 until 7. This event will happen rain or shine.

More details will be announced over the next few weeks. If you have any questions, just ask.

If you are coming from out of town and need a place to stay, let me know, or post on the alumni Facebook group:

If there is anyone you can think of who should know about the reunion, send them to or facebook! The reunion committee has made a big effort to track down all of the members of our community from the past 40 years, but we haven’t found everyone, so please spread the word. I look forward so much to seeing/meeting you all at the end of September.

Warmest wishes,
Ariel Fielding, ALPHA 1974-1982+, Reunion Committee

40th Reunion Celebrations

Posted by Ryan on July 6, 2012

To the Alpha Community:

Here is a general idea of what will be happening to celebrate Alpha’s 40 years of existence in September!

Friday, September 28th:

The community and any grads who can make it are invited to come to Dufferin Grove Park for a late afternoon of playing games, having an outdoor dinner at 6 p.m.(cooked and sold by the park) and then a campfire. It will end at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 29th:

From 12 noon until 6 p.m. at Alpha Alternative School, 20 Brant Street   ( Set up will be from 10 a.m. until noon)

From 12 until 2:30 p.m. there will be a meet and greet time where grads and the rest of the community can stroll through the school and look at photos, videos and written materials (yearbooks, newspapers, school work, etc.) from Alpha’s archives.

Outside in the schoolyard there will be food, games and other activities.From 2:30 until 4:30 p.m. there will be speeches, a short opera by students, musical groups and an open mike on stage in the playground.

At 5:00 p.m. there will be a cake and a wrap up of the day.

From 6 to 7 p.m. everyone helps with clean-up.

For Present Alpha Parents: Sign up sheets for the reunion will be posted on the first floor by the second week of school. Please help us make this a smooth and memorable event by signing up for one of the many tasks!

Thanks. – the Reunion Committee

40th anniversary call for volunteers: scanning/digital conversion

Posted by Mary Harmer on April 30, 2012
Here’s our first call for volunteers! Are you handy with a scanner? We’ve got yearbooks, photos, negatives & a few slides that need scanning. Know anything about converting Super 8, VHS & Beta to digital? Use your expertise to make ALPHA’s history accessible to everyone in our community, past, present & future.

40th Anniversary Updates

Posted by Mary Harmer on April 27, 2012

More details about the ALPHA anniversary celebrations in September:

1. Save the dates–Friday, September 28: come ‘back to school’ during the day, then continue on to Dufferin Grove Park for games, dinner, and a campfire. Saturday, September 29: big indoor/outdoor celebration at ALPHA from noon to 6PM.

2. We are looking for ALPHA grads to perform in the schoolyard on the 29th. Are you a singer, instrumentalist, juggler, dancer, acrobat, etc. etc.? Let us know if you’d like to be part of the entertainment.

3. Would you be willing to host an out-of-town grad or two in your home? Or are you an out-of-town grad who needs a place to stay? Let us know.

4. You can watch this space for updates, or get on the email list.

Looking forward to seeing you all in September!

Ariel Fielding (ALPHA 1974-1982+)

IndieKidz Music Fest

Posted by Rob on April 7, 2012

April 21 from 1 to 4pm at Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Ave.) [map]
Come watch some great musical acts performed by kids for kids – or join in at the open mic!

PLUS a Silent auction of great stuff for parents and kids.

$10 adults, $5 kids, $25 for a whole family, suggested donation prices

All proceeds will benefit Alpha Alternative Elementary School, a TDSB democratic free school committed to social justice and the arts.

The Story of ALPHA: blogs by grads, 1972-2012

Posted by Mary Harmer on March 18, 2012

You may have heard that ALPHA is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012. ALPHA grads from near and far are making plans to join the current school community for anniversary festivities on Friday, September 28 & Saturday, September 29, 2012.

Gathering forty years’ worth of grads, parents, and teachers is no small task. One of the ways we’d like to spread the word is through the blog. We’d like to invite anyone who’s been part of the ALPHA community in the past to send us your favourite ALPHA memories in about 500 words or less, and attach photos if you like. We’ll publish your stories on the ALPHA website, FB page, and, coming soon, our Twitter feed.

Send your stories and pictures to Ariel Fielding, and be sure to mention what years you were at ALPHA. Looking forward to seeing you in September!

Musical stuffies at ALPHA, circa late 1970s/ early 1980s