Want To Be Our New Social Media Volunteer?

Come And Help Us Shout Out!

The Social Media Volunteer will manage Story Planet’s social media by keeping content up-to-date and on-brand. We want to develop a dynamic online presence to share information about Story Planet to a wider community.

The Social Media Volunteer will participate in the development of a social media plan that includes detailed strategies to:

  • tell our story
  • celebrate kid’s voices and the creative work that we’re doing together
  • connect with influential groups online (partners, individuals, parenting groups, etc.) who can help spread our message
  • Promote corporate and school workshops
  • Boost relevant content
  • Join and lead conversations relevant to the work we do

Contact: lisa@storyplanet.ca

“Taco Defeats the Cheetahs” by Ms Rattner’s Class

Art by Chantal Taylor

Our Character:

  • An octodragon (part octopus and part dragon) named Taco
  • He’s a hero that saves people from evil
  • He wears a cape that is blue when in water, black when out of water, and glows when he wants it to
  • He has blue hair, black scales, and his eyes are ocean blue
  • He is completely honest and NEVER lies
  • He wears air Jordans on all eight tentacles
  • He lives in a dark cave with a whirlpool he likes to play in
  • He’s good in and out of water
  • He codes on his computer named Fred who is his only friend)
  • He plays checkers with Fred
  • He has a sense of humour, except when he’s stressed

Our Setting:

  • A place called The Wonderful Land
  • There are chocolate caramel forests, volcanoes everywhere, and many deserts
  • The sky is red and black
  • The buildings fall apart from the lava in the volcanos
  • It rains frosted foods like lasagna and pizza, and rains candy in the springtime
  • The roads are made out of popcorn (not to be mistaken with the fairy eyes)
  • Clouds are made of pizza
  • Rainbows drop popsicles in the summer
  • In the fall, the leaves fall down and they make you happy if you touch them
  • Aliens, lava mermaids, whales, and cheetahs with red eyes and sharp teeth live in the volcanoes
  • Skinny yaks live in the deserts
  • There are phoenix birds with three eyes who can turn invisible, and will bite you if you sit in their chairs (they hate sharing)
  • Magical angels with healing powers live in the sky
  • Unicorns live in the desert and help lost travelers
  • There are fairies with popcorn eyes, and people try to eat the popcorn because it will make you fly
  • Exactly 3 pink tigers per region (desert, volcano, sky) that have lots of fruit to share with everyone
  • RJ happens to live there, and throws pizza at people
  • Rogisha also lives there, and is the queen of kindness, and will stuff marshmallows into your mouth if you say bad things (she has excellent hearing)
  • Also, Ali is the boss of the cheetahs, and helps them run fast
  • Mirjam controls the candy in the land
  • The unicorns fly people into the sky, in order to feed people marshmallows

Taco Defeats the Cheetahs

Once upon a time on a day in April, there was an Octodragon named Taco who lived in the Wonderful Land. An Octodragon is a very strong half octopus and half dragon who can fly and also be under water. Taco wore a cape that was black out of water and turned blue when he was submerged in water, and it glowed when he wanted it to. His scales were black and he had vibrant, ocean blue eyes. He lived in a dark cave with his best friend Fred, the computer who he plays checkers with.

On Taco Tuesday in Wonderful Land, Taco was devouring many tacos when all of a sudden he saw the Taco Signal go off. The Taco Signal was a light in the sky shaped like a taco with a T in it, which indicated that the people of the Wonderful Land were in danger! He crammed 20 tacos in his mouth in a hurry then flew into the sky, his cape billowing behind him. Taco had an earpiece that allowed him to stay in touch with his sidekick friend Fred, who was very clever with missions.

Taco met with Rogisha, the Queen of Kindness, who lived in the sky with three Pink Tigers. The Queen of Kindness prevented people from telling lies by magically stuffing their mouths with marshmallows. Rogisha was the one that set off the Taco Signal because someone has stolen her marshmallows. As a result, all of the creatures of Wonderful Land were telling many lies and saying mean things, so she had to get the marshmallows back.

A boy named Ali was the boss of the cheetahs. The cheetahs had big, red eyes and very sharp teeth. On Tuesday, the cheetahs rebelled against Ali and stole the marshmallows against his will.  The cheetahs then formed a gang because they were tired of everyone being so nice to each other.

Fred used his global positioning system to locate the cheetahs. He found them in underneath the lava in the biggest volcano, in an exquisite bedroom where the cheetahs slept. Fred told Taco where the cheetahs were, so Taco sped toward the volcano to retrieve the magical marshmallows…

“Lava Moon” by Mr Graydon’s Class

Art by Chris Green

Our Character:

  • 9 year old, rainbow coloured long-neck dinosaur named Riley
  • She has a long, grey beard and wears her hair in little green braids
  • She has wings on her belly and has to fly upside down as a result
  • She wears black rocket shoes that have wings on them and an entirely green outfit
  • She’s very smart and witty
  • She eats a lot, so she has a bit of a belly but that’s okay
  • Lives in a fake volcano that is basically a hollowed out mountain, which is also her secret hideout
  • She sleeps on rocks and nothing else
  • She has seven brothers and sisters who live in Cleveland
  • She’s bitter because a really skinny dragon named Kyler stole one of her jewels, which can shoot lasers it could shoot lasers

Our Setting:

  • A moon called Third Moon, located in the Milky Way in the year 5018, 3000 years in the future
  • The moon is very hilly (nothing is flat), and there are lakes of lava, and the sky is green
  • There is no oxygen, so all its inhabitants breathe through a tube connected to the ground
  • The weather is donkeys because it rains tiny donkeys
  • It is always hot – even the wind is hot!
  • However the queen, named Queen Strawberry, can make it snow by eating strawberries
  • The donkeys sing and dance and are always happy (it’s kind of annoying) but the heat threatens their happiness
  • On the moon live: flyions (lions that can fly), dinosaurs with tiger faces, aliens with eyes and mouths on the top of their heads (they have to lean over to talk to you), and cows that spray milk as a means of self-defence (ya know, as cows do)
  • The dinosaurs with the tiger faces protect the lava, but if they are distracted earthquakes can happen
  • There’s a wizard name Dr. Zuc, and he wants to stop the queen from eating strawberries because he hates the snow

Lava Moon

In the future, some time around 5018, there lived a nine-year-old dinosaur named Riley.  She was a rainbow coloured, long-necked dinosaur with an even longer grey beard – so long, in fact, that it went all the way down to her feet.  She was very smart and very witty. Riley lived on a very hot moon called Third Moon, somewhere in the Milky Way, inside a fake volcano where she slept on igneous rock.  All the other buildings on this moon had no vacancy, plus the volcano had great security benefits, so it helped keep bad guys away.

There was a pool of hot lava beside her fake volcano, as there were plenty of real volcanoes on Third Moon.  Other dinosaurs with tiger faces were guarding said lava, because if they got distracted, earthquakes would somehow occur. To stop this from happening, they drank all the lava for the sake of the other civilians.

Annoyingly happy donkeys, Queen Strawberry, and Dr. Zuc also lived on Third Moon.  Queen Strawberry had the ability to cool everything down by eating strawberries, however, Dr. Zuc wanted to stop her. He loved lava, to a worrying degree.

Soon, however, the tiger-faced dinosaurs fell ill.  As it turns out, consuming large amounts of lava wasn’t healthy, and could lead to a nasty case of heartburn. Riley offered to house some of the extra lava inside her fake volcano. However, now Riley was temporarily without a home. Off she went in search of new real estate, and Dr. Zuc saw his chance to steal the strawberries that gave the queen her cooling powers. As a result, lava covered all of Third Moon, and everyone who lived there was in grave danger! If nothing was done to stop it, lava surely would spill into all of outer space!

Riley soon found out that Third Moon was in peril, and rushed to the rescue.  But, it wasn’t so simple. Dr. Zuc’s lair was a cloud dome with lava floating in the sky all around it, acting as a shield. It was also protected by cows that were able to spray milk on command, and creepy blue aliens with faces on the tops of their heads. They carried laser beamers with them at all times, and the milk was curdled and gross. On top of all that, Riley had a lactose allergy, but she knew she had to get inside Dr. Zuc’s lair…

 

“Is Your Life a Lie?” by Ms Vasileros’s class

Art by Chris Green

Our Character

  • She used to be a human girl, but transformed into an alien named Scareckila (pronounced SCARE – SKILLA)
  • She was kidnapped and taken away from her family at a very young age
  • In human years she’s 8 years old, but in alien years she’s 89 years old
  • Has an oval body that is half green and half black, and her green skin glows in the dark
  • Has a circular head, two antennas, four Shrek-like ears, fthree arms, two faces with eight eyes between them, and two mouths that are full of sharp teeth and two tongues in each mouth
  • She four hairy legs and two toes on each foot
  • Is 6’5” tall
  • She grunts when she speaks
  • She can camouflage herself
  • She’s scared of humans and dogs
  • She’s kind
  • She’s sad and writes letters to humans so she can makes friends with them so they won’t be scared of her
  • However, if she touches a human, they turn into an alien
  • There’s a legend that she eats people, but it’s not true!
  • There’s a king and alien army in her home planet
  • She likes to play pranks and has a great sense of humour

Our Setting

  • A planet called Rocket Planet where everything is edible
  • There are lots of provinces and towns and blue rivers
  • One of the towns is occupied with only red-haired people
  • There are many abandoned houses, and one of them is haunted
  • Another town is called Rainbow Land Town, where cotton candy trees grow
  • Another town is made entirely out of chicken
  • Famous Province is a place where people move when they become famous
  • There’s a secret town that contains a secret stone
  • Everyone on the planet is rich but they still wear fake Rolex watches
  • There’s an amusement park called Juno and a National Park with many bunnies that have 8 legs and antlers
  • In the towns are statues of aliens that poop candy
  • Clothing is edible and made of chocolate, and are customized with special markers
  • There’s a restaurant called Foody Tooty that serves WHATEVER you want for FREE
  • All your wishes can come true on Rocket Planet
  • The life expectancy is 2 million years because it’s AWESOME
  • Even when aliens pass on, they are reincarnated and live for ANOTHER 2 million years
  • The best cars are silver and can fly up to the clouds, and the clouds are fun to jump on
  • They have a special holiday called Flower Mash Up where the aliens wear flowers on their clothes to honour people that have passed on

Is Your Life a Lie?

Once upon a time, there was an alien named Scareckila, who had once been a human girl. She was abducted from earth and taken to Rocket Planet by aliens when she was only two years old. They brought her to an abandoned house on Rocket Planet where there was a magical stone. The aliens made her touch the stone, and she immediately turned into the scariest looking alien that they had ever seen on Rocket Planet!

As an alien, Scareckila was a hairy round beast that was 6’5” tall. She had two terrifying faces, and each face had four eyes, two mouths, two tongues in each mouth, sharp teeth, four ears, and two long antenna. She had an oval shaped body that was green on the right side black on the left side, and her green skin glowed in the dark. She had four hairy legs with two toes on each of her four feet, and three arms with the third one coming from her chest! Her body was also very slimy.

Regardless of her scary appearance, she was a very kind alien. She loved to play pranks and have a good laugh!

She had been abducted because she had been the prettiest baby on earth. The aliens of Rocket Planet wanted her to be one of them because they thought she was going to be the most beautiful alien on Rocket Planet, and they could not have babies of their own because Rocket Planet aliens fall from the sky when they are “born”. They desperately wanted a little baby to cuddle and raise as their own, so they plotted and stole the most beautiful baby on earth. Little did they know that their magical stone would turn her into the scariest looking alien in the universe!

When she was eight years old, Scareckila went back to the abandoned house she had been brought to six years ago to find the magic stone. She had always felt like there was something missing from her life and thought the stone might give her answers.

She approached the door of the house and entered. Inside, it was full of spider webs and it felt like there were many eyes on her. She almost stepped on some cockroaches and had to bite back a scream. Every time she took a step, the floor creaked louder and louder.

Scareckila walked down a creepy hallway and entered into a room that, strangely, looked brand new. And there, in the centre of the room, was a glass case on a table, and inside was the magic stone!

She approached the table, but the door slammed suddenly behind her. She turned around at the noise, startled, and the lights began to flicker. Then, the stone began to glow, and then all at once, projected a hologram of that showed Scareckila what her life was before Rocket Planet and her abduction. She saw herself as a little, beautiful baby being loved by her human parents, and she saw the aliens come from Rocket Planet, take her away, and make her touch the magic stone which had forever changed her appearance.

Scareckila stared in shock.

My whole life has been a lie… she thought to herself in horror.

Then…

 

“The Story of Planet Blob” by Ms Bruce’s Class

Art by Chris Green

Our Character

  • An alien named Cupcake Green Queen with an alien code, 9245
  • She has pineapple arms, rainbow dreads, a butt chin, and a circular blob body that is multicoloured like a layer cake
  • She has three eyes, the middle one being the biggest and the other two half its size, and she can add eyes to her face whenever she wants
  • She wears a mask and a helmet
  • Is a psychic
  • Has transformative powers:
    • Can transform into other things
    • Can also split into a million little versions of herself and become one again
    • When she splits into a million selves, her rainbow dreads turns light blue
  • She plays PS4, basketball, and tennis (but specifically with an alien tennis ball)
  • Loves chicken
  • Poops out cupcakes
  • She has a temper and screams when angry
  • She is a dancer – specifically the electro shuffle
  • She is afraid of pandas, vegetables, and herself
    • When she looks into a mirror she gets scared

Our Setting

  • Planet Blob
  • Made out of cheese, but every year the substance of the planet changes; its entirely edible
  • There are cheese animals and aliens made out of chicken wings, and unicorns who eat sprinkles
  • When the wind is strong, chicken wings fly around
  • Sometimes it rains slime, other times cheese curds, other times baby powder
  • Cupcake Green Queen is from a place called Hidden Leaf Village
  • Hidden Leaf Village is the most technologically advanced place in the world, as a comet hit the planet and brought syranium with it, an incredible metal they use in their technology
  • The aliens drive hover cars and ride around on cheese bicycles
  • They like to play foosball and slim-O wrestling where they must belly flop onto their opponent in order to win
  • Storian Wrestling is the official sport; the aliens shrink themselves to fit into tiny robots that then battle each other
  • Another popular pastime is gummy and sock dolphin training and racing
  • Some buildings are made out of cheese and chicken wings
  • Other buildings are built out of syranium, and when hit by objects, tiny temporary black holes are formed
  • The most popular restaurant is called Joe Joe’s and everyone goes there to celebrate birthdays
  • There is a Nacho cheese volcano located on the Snobby Shores of Candy Ocean
  • Gummy dolphins and sock dolphins live in Candy Ocean
  • Some aliens have pet dolphins with wings who protect them from the flying chicken wings on windy days
  • Candy ocean is near the village
  • There is a giant cheese monster called Pain & a goo monster with three eyes and three heads
  • The alien army defends Hidden Leaf Village with chicken wing weapons that allow them to bury their enemies in chicken wings
  • The most important day of year is Chicken Day, and everyone comes to the planet to celebrate
  • Chocolate dolphins from other planets also come to visit their dolphin friends

The Story of Planet Blob

Once upon a time there was a land filled with dolphins and chicken wings on a planet called Blob. On this planet, the weather was quite unpredictable, as on really windy days chicken wings would blow across the planet, hitting buildings and anyone unfortunate enough to be in their path.

The aliens who lived on this planet spoke to their leader because they wanted to do something about the crazy weather and the terrible cheese monster, named Pain. Both were threatening their home, The Hidden Leaf Village.

The leader of The Hidden Leaf Village was an alien named Cupcake Green Queen. Cupcake Green Queen loved to dance! Whenever she won a battle or an argument, she’d do the electric shuffle. She had a blob body, rainbow dreads, pineapple arms, three eyes with a big one in the middle of her face, and could split apart into a million little Cupcake Green Queens at will.

However, Cupcake Green Queen had a secret: she feared herself! Without saying why, she made every alien in the village throw out all their mirrors into space, because she got scared every time she looked into a mirror and saw herself.

She also had another secret! Pain the cheese monster was her brother, and he controlled the bad weather on Planet Blob. She knew she had to defeat him, but naturally felt conflicted about it, because Pain was brother.

But what had happened between them all those years ago…? Well, Cupcake Green Queen had kicked Pain out of the Hidden Leaf Village because he was being mean to the other aliens. He was jealous of Cupcake Green Queen because he wanted to be the ruler of the Hidden Leaf Village, which is why he was so mean to everyone (he had trouble working out his issues and took it out on others). The last straw for Cupcake Green Queen was when Pain set her mattress on fire in a fit of jealousy. She’d had it! He had to leave the village, and he was banished to the Nacho Cheese Volcano located on the Snobby Shores of the Candy Ocean.

Pain left the village in a rage, and in his emotional state, he turned into cheese out of pure envy!

However, Pain knew his sister’s secret, that she was afraid of her own image, so he gathered the mirrors she made the village throw away and made a suit of armour out of them. He snuck back into the Hidden Leaf Village and confronted Cupcake, and upon seeing herself reflected in his armour, she fainted and did not regain consciousness for two hours…

 

Story Planet is Accepting Intern Applications for 2018 – 2019!

We are accepting intern applications for students starting placements in September, 2018! If you’re interested in doing an internship/student placement with us, please read through the details below.

Story Planet Intern Qualifications:

  • You must have excellent communication skills (written and oral)
  • You are passionate about literacy, the arts, and education
  • You love working with children and youth
  • You are committed to social justice
  • You are highly motivated, responsible, and work well independently
  • You are a self-starter and can take initiative

You should apply to be an intern with us if any of the following apply:

  • You are currently enrolled in a post secondary institution that requires you fulfill specific placement hours
  • You are interested in program design and development for children and youth
  • You are interested in learning more about arts-based education
  • You are interested in workshop facilitation
  • You are are interested in the non-profit/charitable sector
  • You want to gain grant-writing experience
  • You want to gain experience in marketing and social media for a non-profit organization

Story Planet Intern Duties:

These may be subject to change, depending on your program and main areas of interest.

  • Attend Story Planet workshops in schools across GTA for grades 1 – 12
  • Work one-on-one with students to help them improve communication skills
  • Collaborate with Program Director to design and run activities for after-school programming
  • Provide students with mentorship and support during both workshops and after school programming
  • Provide administrative support to Program Director and Director of Operations
  • Help create content for Story Planet’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, newsletters)
  • Help with production of Story Planet books for students
  • Provide grant-writing support to Executive Director and Director of Operations

Current and Past Educational Partnerships:

  • Centennial College
  • George Brown College
  • Humber College
  • Sheridan College
  • University of Toronto
  • York University

How to Apply:

Want to intern with us? Send your resume and a cover letter detailing why you want to intern at Story Planet and what makes you a good fit to candace@storyplanet.ca and volunteer@storyplanet.ca. Please make your email subject line “Intern Application for Story Planet: YOUR NAME”.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Featured Explorer: Carina Nasturzio

One of our fabulous interns (and unofficial photographer!) is Carina Nasturzio, and we are so lucky to have had her bright and happy presence with us this past year! Read below to learn more about this awesome explorer!
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1. Favourite planet to live: Mars, but Earth is pretty neat too
2. Favourite book or the last great one you read: The Kite Runner, Room
3. Favourite writers: Marjane Satrapi, Lidia Yuknavitch, Emma Donoghue, Juni Ito
4. Favourite thing to do on Earth:  Make art, explore, and pet dogs
5. Favourite Earth food:  Popcorn
 
6. Favourite moment/memory from your experience at Story Planet:  At one of my very first workshops, a student gave me a note telling me how nice I was and how she was happy we met.  Sometimes I’ll read it when I need a bit of motivation, or just need some cheering up!
7. Most important thing you learned as an intern at Story Planet:  That what we do really makes a difference.  I’ve seen shy and timid students open up and be creative in the span of one hour, and you can tell that the workshop really touched them.  It’s heartwarming to see, and I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to see it.

Introducing: Wine & Story Night!

We are so excited to launch our brand new event series: Wine & Story Night!

Come to Story Planet on Friday, May 11 for a hilarious and entertaining night! You’ll be guided by a professional playwright and artist through a hysterical writing process. At the end, you’ll take home your own script, printed, bound, and illustrated by the artist!

Wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available throughout the evening, because we now how to host a good party.

Hurry and buy your tickets HERE!

All proceeds will go towards funding our programming for marginalized children and youth.

Featured Explorer: Catriona Spaven-Donn

At Story Planet, we work with some of the most amazing, inspiring, and truly wonderful humans on the planet, and we’d love for you to learn more about them too!

We would like to introduce you to one of our stellar new volunteers, Catriona Spaven-Donn. Catriona is not only a fabulous volunteer who has been helping kids and youth around Toronto through other organizations, she’s also a super cool human with many talents who has also travelled to Toronto all the way from Scotland.

Check out her responses below!

1. Favourite planet to live: Living on Earth is pretty cool – we can be in urban environments with huge streetcar and library networks as well as loads of choices of places to eat and shop; but then we can also be in other habitats. Earlier this year, I lived on an island 4000 metres above sea level where it was sometimes difficult to breathe and the high pressure brought tremendous lightning storms. So far, I’ve found that Planet Earth is full of places to visit, people to meet, stories to tell, and adventures to embark upon.

2. Favourite book or the last great one you read: This year, I worked at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is the largest book festival in the world, and I was lucky enough to hear many great writers present their work. There were sold out events for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith, both of whose novels I have very much enjoyed reading. But rather than the sit-down talks with famous authors, my favourite events happened in the Imagination Lab, where we set up cushions and tables with crayons and arts and crafts for infants and children. There, I discovered Britta Teckentrup’s wonderful world of collage and peek-through story books while working with Grade 2s to produce our own artwork. Her children’s books, such as ‘Tree’, which follows a tree and its woodland companions through four seasons, are creative and educational, with a special focus on nature and wildlife and exploring this planet we call home.

3. Favourite writers: I’ve already mentioned a couple of my favourite fiction writers, but I also read other genres like poetry and travel writing. As you can tell from my Britta Teckentrup recommendation, I love books about nature. Kathleen Jamie is a Scottish poet who writes about the Scottish landscape, which makes me feel very connected to where I grew up in the countryside outside of Edinburgh, and also in the mountainous, windswept wilderness of the Scottish Highlands.

4. Favourite thing to do on Earth: Unsurprisingly from all you’ve read about me now, I love reading and traveling! I love going on adventures and exploring hidden away spaces, and scribbling words or taking photos while I’m at it.

5. Favourite Earth food: Anything chocolate mint flavour (but sadly also dairy-free due to dietary restrictions) and tortilla chips and humous. I’m all about the snacks!

6. Favourite moment/memory from your experience at Story Planet: For one comic-making workshop with Grade 4s and 5s, seeing the character we created collectively come alive in the students’ comic panels was really exciting. I enjoyed sharing ideas about glass-eating monsters and unicorn best friends, but the best moment was one earnest comic-maker shouting out to me at the end, “I’ll miss you!” It’s great to know that Story Planet is so valued in the classrooms we visit – and it also means we’ll just have to keep going back so they don’t miss us too much!