His devotion to making our programs inspired us name &scholarship fund

Donate Today & Pass on the Learning


Donations to Extra Ed are spent in two simple ways:

We either run enrichment programs inside classrooms during daytime curriculum hours for no charge, or at a very discounted rate to support a school with limited budgets.

We use support the implementation of lunch and after school clubs where the contributions of families fall far short of making the programs viable.

For every dollar you donate, here is how it breaks down as far as how the funds are allocated:

75% - To instructors who teach the programs.

25% - To all the other costs associated with running the programs. This includes overhead costs like course materials, insurance, permits for spaces used, and the salaries of those who meet with schools to book the programs and then manage the programs while they are being delivered.

Please note that this 25% allocation does not always cover the costs of running and maintaining the programs. However, in order to stretch these donated funds as far as they can go, and to stick to a formula that those who donate to us can trust, Extra Ed absorbs any and all excess costs if they occur.

Please also note that all of our lunch and after school clubs operate with a pay-what-you-can model for parents. The funds you donate here are applied to support lunch and after school clubs in schools and communities that clearly need it, where either nothing was raised through parent registrations, or the amount raised falls very far short of the program's viability.

These after school clubs in particular can provide affordable and much-needed child care for families that need it but can’t afford it, while also providing enriching educational and social experiences for children who would otherwise not have access to these types of programs.

If you wish to donate to this fund and direct the funds to a particular school or community, this can easily be done. Please get in touch!


The Jacques Katz Memorial Scholarship Fund:

The Jacques Katz Memorial Scholarship Fund has supported tens of thousands of students and families access educational programming that would otherwise have been out of reach financially.

Established in 2018, the Fund was set up in honour of Jacques Katz, an exceptional educator who made important early contributions to Extra Ed. He was also a caring husband, father, and a standout member of his community.

Jacques died in 2017 after a long fight with multiple myeloma. The following year, we established the Jacques Katz Memorial Scholarship Fund in large part to honour Jacques’s strong belief that every child should be given the opportunity to succeed, regardless of economic circumstances.

Your donations ensure that we extend our radius to include the children and families who would benefit greatly from the learning, social engagement, and sense of purpose that our courses inspire and that otherwise would not have been available to them.
Tax receipts are available for all donations.

I first met Jacques around 2010. He was a teacher then, at Queen Victoria Public School (since re-named Dr Rita Cox-Kina Minagok Public School) and he needed some support for the chess team he was coaching.

There were a couple of minor issues. First, he had a miniscule budget; and second, he wasn’t a very good chess player. In fact, many of the kids he was “coaching” were far better than he was. Jacques was well aware that he wasn’t much more than a staff sponsor, but that didn’t stop him. He saw that these kids were passionate about the game, and he was determined to give them every opportunity to play and develop.

I wasn’t able to support him with much more than a few tutorials and some coaching tips, but he gratefully accepted it and took that team to the TDSB’s inter-school chess tournament anyway. They performed well – better than many schools that had considerably more funding. Moreover, his efforts sparked a wider interest in chess at the school, which eventually led to Jacques attracting outside organizations to deliver fully-funded, in-class programs for all the kids in the lower grades.

Over the next few years, Jacques and I remained casual acquaintances. I ran into him from time to time at the TDSB Tournaments, or at the Annex Chess Club, which I helped found. He joined in hopes of improving his game, and started playing there regularly. He would ask me for the odd game, but I was either too busy helping run the club, or, more often, I would brush him off and tell him that I thought he played too slowly for my taste, and that we were at different levels.

If I’m perfectly honest, I found Jacques to be a bit quirky in those first few years. Maybe a bit too cerebral. Jacques had multiple advanced degrees in highly theoretical subjects, and a bit of a “mad scientist” way about him. But over time, I grew to appreciate that quirkiness and many of those qualities, and we became friends who got together for the odd drink, sharing experiences in education, in chess, and in life. When I got married in January of 2014, we had become close enough that I invited him and his wife Ophira to our wedding.

Around the time that I started Extra Ed in 2015, Jacques shared some terrible news with me. He had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer. Even the most optimistic diagnoses were dim. He didn’t have much time left to live.

He was obviously shocked, and heartbroken. And scared. Jacques had a really great life set up for himself, and everything in the world to look forward to. He was happily married, and had a wonderful son named Jonah that he adored. He was close with his parents, particularly his mother Yvonne, and was also close with his brother Oren and his sister Maggie and all of their wonderful children. He had a wide network of friends and connections through his many interests. And he loved his job teaching.

As his treatments weakened his immune system more and more, he wasn’t able to continue in the classroom, either as a teacher or even as a volunteer. This really devastated him. But rather than sit in solitude and feel sorry for himself, he approached me and asked if he could help with my financial literacy curriculum.

For some context, when I started Extra Ed, it was as an organization teaching financial literacy in elementary schools. Although today financial literacy has become part of the Ontario curriculum, back then, there was very little of it taught, especially at the elementary school level. I had a vision of making a subject like financial literacy interesting and fun for kids, and had created a curriculum that was very well received by students, parents, and educators at the handful of schools I was running in. Although I didn’t think I needed much help, I welcomed Jacques with open arms. And when he got involved, I quickly came to realize how incredibly gifted he was. He put that mad scientist brain of his to work and helped turn what I had created into something with much more polish – the kind of polish that eventually got Extra Ed approved as a TDSB Educational Partner.

Working with Jacques was a real gift. I learned a lot from him – including how much I needed to learn. During that window of time – from around the spring of 2016 until the spring of 2017 – we spoke almost every day. Not just about the work we were doing together, but about financial literacy, and about what was most important in life, something he really had an enlightened perspective on. Even though this was a time that saw his health decline, we still carried on with our work and our conversations, laughing often, as if there wasn’t this giant stop sign ahead. That was a really magical time for me, and I feel like Jacques helped me grow a lot. I also believe that this experience helped keep Jacques’s spirits up as his health continued on its decline.

Jacques and I spoke many times about how we felt that every kid should get an opportunity to be educated and to pursue their interests, regardless of a family’s economic circumstances. Jacques also believed that it was up to those who had more to contribute more, and when he was strong enough, he lived by those ideals – just ask the kids he worked with and taught.

Soon after he died in 2017, I proudly established the scholarship fund for Extra Ed in his name. One of the easiest choices I have ever made.
Yakos Spiliotopoulos

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