St. George's Student Life
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 ».
Cassandra Forzani, Grade 11, has earned the Lieutenant Governor's Youth Medal for 2017, honouring her remarkable community involvement and passionate engagement in school life at St. George's School of Montreal. Cassandra has developed into a remarkable student leader at St. George's as co-chair of the Student Leadership Team, as a student ambassador and in the many roles she played in major school events. The Lieutenant Governor's Youth Medal is awarded to youths who demonstrate a sustained voluntary action at the community and social levels, have shown an inspiring attitude and a positive influence within a group or community, and have achieved the objectives of her curriculum.
Upon joining St. George's in Grade 10, Cassandra was greeted by a student ambassador who welcomed her to the school and helped her with the typical adjustment that comes with joining a new school. One year later, Cassandra was in the role of ambassador, helping new students feel welcome and develop a genuine sense of belonging. This year, Cassandra acted as co-chair of the Student Leadership Team, overseeing the team alongside another Grade 11 classmate. In this role, she delivered a heartwarming speech for a class of 2016 alumnus, Ryan Antel, and presented him the Outstanding Student Award at the school's annual Tribute Dinner. Cassandra also spoke to both the student body and alumni in separate unveiling ceremonies celebrating the grand opening of the school's new Fitness Centre.
"I guess I'm just someone who wants to help out, and not just to do things for themselves, but to benefit others," Cassandra says. "You know it's the right thing to do, for the community, and for others." In addition to her academics and leadership roles, Cassandra is a dancer, and wants to teach dance to younger students. "I'm learning about working with kids and I look forward to taking on that role of responsibility. That's a new environment for me," she notes.
"Cassandra has more than stepped into the leadership role," says Michael O'Connor, Assistant Head of St. George's High School. "Not only is Cassandra an everyday leader whose consistent positivity, enthusiasm and empathy motivate those around her, but Ms. Forzani has worked strategically on fostering the culture of leadership and mutual respect our school is renowned for. For that, I am grateful and proud."
Cassandra and Mr. O'Connor were present at the ceremony on April 30th where Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, the Honourable J. Michel Doyon, Q.C.,Ad. E., Ph. D. presented this award.
We invite you to experience the award-winning G Major, St. George's School of Montreal's Glee Club, which will be performing May 10, 11, 12 and 13 at the D.B Clarke Theatre on the Concordia University downtown campus. Tickets are now available at www.stgeorges.com/tickets. E Minor, our Elementary School glee club, will also be performing at these shows and always delights the crowd!
G Major won Best Show Design for the fourth year in a row and placed second overall, as well as second in their category of Non-Arts Large Ensembles, in the Show Choir Canada Championships April 8, 2017, in Toronto. The club also celebrated a major individual win as Ryan Mendel, Grade 11, won Best Male Triple Threat of the championships, awarding his singing, dancing, and performance abilities.
G Major has won its category the past three years, and last year they were named Grand Champion of the competition. Earlier this year, G Major also made a special appearance performing with Jordan Smith, champion of The Voice, at WE Day Montreal. Watch G Major's powerful performance of Somebody to Love.
Our High School glee club, G Major, has placed first in their category at the Show Choir Canada Championships the past three years, so you might be surprised to hear why it's a great achievement for the group to earn 2nd place at this year's contest.G Major, won Best Show Design this year (for the fourth year in a row) and placed second overall as well as second in their category of Non-Arts Large Ensembles in the competition held April 8, 2017, in Toronto. The club also celebrated a major individual win as Ryan Mendel, Grade 11, won Best Male Triple Threat of the championships, awarding his singing, dancing, and performance abilities.
This year, Candace Grynol, Performing Arts Department Head, challenged her students to try something very different. "Every year they just get better, and this year I wanted to challenge them to a kind of movement they've never done before. This show is based around dolls, so the movements felt a little unnatural when they first learned them," she said. "We had a lot of discussion about how dolls would actually move if they were alive, and I am so happy that the students were able to bring my vision to life. They worked so hard and they truly nailed it at the competition. I wouldn't have changed one thing about their performance. I'm so proud of how they helped each other and worked as a team."
Just days after their competition, we learned that our students can not only sing and dance, they can give a great interview as well! Leah Benabou and Zoe McCormack, both Grade 11, joined Ms. Grynol on CBC Radio's Homerun with Sue Smith and were strong representatives speaking about G Major, and about St. George's.
G Major and Sophie Koren, Grade 11, were also featured in an article about the Show Choir Canada Championships in The Whole Note, an entertainment publication.
Earlier this year, G Major also made a special appearance performing with Jordan Smith, champion of The Voice, at WE Day Montreal. Watch G Major's powerful performance of Somebody to Love.
The public is invited to see G Major on May 10 through 13 when they will be performing for four nights at the D.B Clarke Theatre on the Concordia University downtown campus. Tickets will be available at www.stgeorges.com/tickets beginning April 24th.