St. George's Student Life

Earth Day is a pretty big deal here at St. George's - but you probably already know that. In past years the Elementary School has been our Earth Day hub, and it's an occasion usually marked by a day of action, sometimes involving the execution of elaborate urban agriculture projects. Students who have come through the Elementary School share fond memories of joining together with classmates, teachers, and parents to work towards a common goal.

This year, the Earth Day tradition will debut at the High School with the first-ever Earth Day Summit. On May 4th, more than 50 of St. George's 266 secondary students will be involved in facilitating workshops for their peers and teachers, engaging the entire learning community in action for a sustainable future.

The Earth Day Summit is an organic addition to the annual calendar of events at the High School campus - last year students executed a waste audit in an effort to maximize recycling and composting practices at every level of the school's operations. Student activism is the driving force of an ongoing sustainability movement generating school-wide enthusiasm for taking concrete steps to achieve collective goals.

"I think our school specifically is very action-oriented," said Julieta Lozano Ramsay, who will be leading a workshop on guerilla gardening. "It really shows that students do care; leadership is being taken. I hope people gain a deeper understanding of what they're doing, and what they can do."

The fifteen student-led workshops will cover topics ranging from water purification and sustainable farming to food security.

St. George's School of Montreal's annual campaign through which elementary students raise funds to assist schoolchildren in Tanzania has once again become a learning experience about the culture of those we're helping. Our children learned that walking and running is an integral part of growing up in Tanzania, so we raised money in a walk-skip-run drive. On June 12th, St. George's announced it had raised $1,825, which goes to the Kibenna Women's Association in Njombe.

"We have a reciprocal relationship with these students in Tanzania," says Hannah Hershman, Coordinator of Student Support at St. George's Elementary School and supervisor of the fundraising campaign. "They give to us as much as we give to them," she continues. Sometimes that comes in videos sent by the children in Tanzania, sometimes it comes from the learning that takes place in our own students when creating materials to help their students learn English, and in this case, it came as Tanzanian children shared their culture of walking and running as a way of life in Njombe.

"We showed our students photos and movies of how people in Tanzania walk and run everywhere: to school, to the market, to the clinic, it's a very healthy part of their culture directly related to their way of life," Hershman says. In response, St. George's students decided to raise money for every lap they ran around a local park. After running as many laps as they could, students then shared their experience with their families to decide how much money each lap is worth. By deciding that each lap is worth $1, for example, a family would donate $12 if their child completed 12 laps. Similar donation values were assigned to walking and skipping rope as well.

St. George's has teamed up with the McGill School of Nursing in this Tanzanian relationship for 15 years. As McGill sends nursing students to the Kibenna Women's Association, it has also become a valuable relationship through which St. George's can donate directly to schools in Njombe. The direct donation allows the school leaders to decide what needs they wish to address by using these funds.

(French to follow)

(Westmount, QC) Four St. George's Elementary School Students earned awards in the 2017 annual McEntyre Writing Competition. Gal Barnea, Grade 4, Noée Spiegel and Emma Boucher, both Grade 6, as well as Sophia Gnehm, Grade 9, were given their awards at a special city ceremony held Wednesday, June 7th at Victoria Hall.

The competition, which encourages young people to think about the idea of community and to learn about their own communities is supported by a trust fund created by Peter McEntyre, Mayor of Westmount from 1969 to 1971. This year's theme was Secret Places, Hidden Treasures. Twelve elementary students participated in the contest and gathered during lunchtime in Concours d'Écriture workshops to prepare their stories, which would be written in French.

Emma Boucher earned 2nd Place with the story of a Syrian girl who went to Canada and found the treasures of security and happiness. "It's a subject that touches me," Emma told us, "and it also fits in well with the theme. Emma also earned 2nd place in the competition last year.

Noée Spiegel earned 3rd Place with her short story about five treasures in the world. "Some of my five things, like sadness for example, can seem a little weird for people to read, but it can also help you in life," Noée explained. "That's why I chose to write about it."

Gal Barnea earned an Honourable Mention with her story about a girl who finds a space in a park among trees and bushes where she discovers that it feels very positive and peaceful to be there. Then she shares this special place with her friends. "When I was thinking about secret places, I always dreamed of having a place where it's really calm and surrounded by nature," Gal told us. "So I wrote about it."

Alexandra Dernis, our Grade 5 teacher who organized the workshops said, "Je suis extrêmement fière de tous les élèves qui ont participé au concours d'écriture. Ils sont très enthousiastes à l'idée d'écrire en français. C'est un vrai plaisir à voir!" ("I am extremely proud of all the students who participated in the writing contest. They are very enthusiastic about writing in French. It's a real pleasure to see!")

Sophia Gnehm earned 3rd Place with her short story, "Native", about a world in crisis where people are not allowed to grow food or own animals. In this deteriorating world, a girl and her father break the rules and grow a secret indoor garden to counter their loss of community and individuality. "A lot of times if you're a good reader, you can become a good writer, too," Sophia noted. "You can emulate a style of writing you love, or you can create your own. Writing really makes me happy because I can create this whole world that can have anything I can dream up."

St. George's English teacher, Maria Szuber, has all her Grade 9 students participate in the McEntyre Competition each year because the contest focuses on community, and because every student receives written feedback about their work. "Sophia's piece was particularly poignant," Maria commented. "Her story is beautifully structured and it makes you think and feel, qualities that I appreciate in literature".

L to R: Chantal Martin (Assistant Head of Elementary School), Sophia Gnehm (Gr. 9), Noée Spiegel (Gr. 6), Emma Boucher (Gr. 6), Alexandra Dernis (Gr. 5 teacher), Gal Barnea (Gr. 4)

Quatre élèves gagnent le Prix d'écriture McEntyre

(Westmount, QC) Quatre élèves au niveau primaire de l'école St. George de Montréal ont gagné des prix au concours d'écriture annuel McEntyre. Gal Barnea, en 4e année, Noée Spiegel et Emma Boucher, en 6e année, ainsi que Sophia Gnehm, en 9e année, ont reçu leur prix lors d'une cérémonie spéciale qui a eu lieu mercredi, 7 juin dernier au Victoria Hall.

Ce concours, destiné à encourager les jeunes à réfléchir à la notion de communauté et à apprendre au sujet de leurs propres communautés, est pris en charge par un fonds d'affectation spéciale créé par Peter McEntyre, maire de Westmount de 1969 à 1971. Le thème de cette année était Des endroits secrets, des trésors cachés. Douze élèves de l'école primaire ont participé au concours. Ils se sont rassemblés pendant l'heure du diner pour préparer leurs histoires qui allaient être écrites en français.

Emma Boucher a gagné la 2e place avec l' histoire d'une jeune fille syrienne qui est allée au Canada et qui a trouvé les trésors de la sécurité et du bonheur. «C'est un sujet qui me touche,» nous a dit Emma «et il correspond bien avec le thème.» Emma avait obtenu la 2e place à cette compétition l'année dernière.

Noée Spiegel a gagné la 3e place en écrivant une courte histoire sur cinq trésors dans le monde. «Certaines de ces cinq trésors, la tristesse par exemple, peuvent sembler un peu étranges, mais elles peuvent aussi vous aider dans la vie» a expliqué Noée. «Voilà pourquoi j'ai choisi d'écrire sur ce sujet.»

Gal Barnea a reçu une mention honorable pour l'histoire au sujet d'une fille qui trouve un endroit dans un parc parmi les arbres et les arbustes où l'atmosphère y est positive et paisible. Elle partage alors cet endroit spécial avec ses amis. «Quand je pensais à des lieux secrets, j'ai toujours rêvé d'avoir un endroit qui est vraiment calme et entouré par la nature,» nous a expliqué Gal. «Alors, j'ai écrit sur ce sujet.»

Alexandra Dernis, l'enseignante de 5e année qui a organisé l'atelier a commenté : «Je suis extrêmement fière de tous les élèves qui ont participé au concours d'écriture. Ils sont très enthousiastes à l'idée d'écrire en français. C'est un vrai plaisir à voir!»

Sophia Gnehm s'est mérité la 3e place pour sa petite histoire, « Native », qui décrit un monde en crise où les gens ne peuvent cultiver leurs propres aliments ni posséder d'animaux. Dans ce monde en détérioration, une fille et son père enfreignent les règles et cultivent secrètement un jardin intérieur pour contrer leur perte de communauté et d'individualité.

« Souvent, si vous êtes un bon lecteur, vous pouvez aussi devenir un bon écrivain », a souligné Sophia. « Vous pouvez imiter un style d'écriture qui vous attire, ou vous pouvez créer le vôtre. L'écriture me rend vraiment heureuse parce que je peux créer un monde qui peut avoir tout ce dont je peux rêver. »

Maria Szuber, enseignante en anglais, exige de tous ses élèves en secondaire IV de participer au concours McEntyre chaque année. Ce concours se concentre sur la communauté et chaque élève reçoit des commentaires écrits sur son travail. « La pièce de Sophia était particulièrement touchante », a commenté Maria. « Son histoire est bien structurée, elle vous fait penser et vivre des émotions - des qualités que j'apprécie dans la littérature ».


St. George's School of Montreal
Telephone 514-937-9289 |
Telephone 514-904-0542
Telephone 514-937-9289 |
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