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Lévis students’ pen pal letters win Passages Canada national contest

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Lévis students’ pen pal letters win Passages Canada national contest

Lévis, QC, May 30, 2014 – Students at École Saint-Joseph have been selected as national winners of Passages Canada’s Write and Make Art! Challenge. The contest received over 400 submissions from students in Grades 1 to 12.

The Grade 4 students at École Saint-Joseph won the top prize in the elementary writing category. Each student composed a letter to a pen pal abroad, sharing things they cherish about living in Canada, and what they feel makes it a great country to live in for an immigrant. The students are the first winners of the contest from Québec.

“When I announced the news about the prize,” said teacher Gérald Charron, “I heard several students say, ‘Wow!’. I saw their eyes light up, full of pride. I was also very happy that my students wrote such beautiful pieces about our magnificent country, Canada.”

“Through this work, we see a new generation of Canadian artists and storytellers defining crucial questions of citizenship and identity,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President of Historica Canada. “The results are impressive not only in creative terms, but in broadening the discussion of how we as Canadians define ourselves.”

In its second year, the Passages Canada Write and Make Art! Challenge encouraged Grade 1 to 12 students across Canada to explore issues of immigration, identity and racism through writing and art. Work was juried by an esteemed panel from Passages Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

A storytelling initiative of Historica Canada, Passages Canada volunteers share their personal accounts of cultural identity and heritage on-line in our multimedia Story Archive and in person with schools and community groups. Since 2002, over 1,000 speakers have created dialogue on Canada’s rich diversity with over 250,000 youth and adults. Passages Canada is generously supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and TD Bank Group.

Historica Canada is the largest charitable organization dedicated to Canadian history, identity and citizenship. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada.

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For more information:

Calina Ellwand, Program Coordinator

t. 1.866.701.1867 ext 392

cellwand@HistoricaCanada.ca

 

Fadia Otariste, Communications Officer

t. 1.866.701.1867 ext 259

fotariste@HistoricaCanada.ca

 

Excerpt from letter by Émile Trepanier, one of the student winners from Gérald Charron’s Grade 4 class at École Saint-Joseph

Bonjour cher ami(e) de la France!

Je vais te parler de notre beau pays: le Canada.

Tout d’abord, le Canada est l’un des plus grands pays au monde. Nous avons une très grande diversité de culture. Je vis dans la province  de Québec avec ma sœur Sarah qui a 13 ans et mes parents.

Je demeure sur la rive-sud du fleuve St-Laurent, à Lévis, depuis ma naissance. Les deux langues officielles du Canada sont l’anglais et le français. Nous sommes un peuple très accueillant et pacifique. Il n’y a pas de guerre dans notre pays.

[…]

La nature est tout autour de nous. Cela ne prend que quelques minutes en voiture à partir de chez moi pour être en pleine nature (forêt, campagne ou bord du fleuve).

J’ai accès facilement à la pratique de sports extérieurs comme le ski alpin, la pêche à la truite, le kayak de rivière ou sur le Fleuve, la marche en montagne et la bicyclette.

Dernièrement, je suis allé marcher dans la forêt sur le bord du Fleuve où j`ai aperçu des chevreuils, c’était très impressionnant de les voir en liberté  .J’ai aussi donné à manger dans mes mains à des oiseaux. Je me suis bien amusé!

[…]

Au plaisir de te rencontrer un jour!

 

Émile Trépanier