By KRYSTLE CHOW
Published in the Ottawa West edition of The News EMC.
May 25, 2006
A group of local elementary school students have come up with an innovative way to combine learning, creative writing, and entrepreneurship.
An eighth-grade French class at D. Roy Kennedy Public School are producing a bilingual magazine to promote literacy, as part of the Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure program. This is the second time the school has participated in the project.
“The program is about getting kids working together to start a business venture to have an impact on their school or community,” says Shari Cooper, who teaches the intermediate Core French class which is producing the magazine.
Participants in the program come from schools in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, and Ottawa.
Ms. Cooper says the students are thrilled about the opportunity to organize, edit and write their own magazine.
“Core French is hard to get excited about,” she says. “But their enthusiasm keeps building every day.”
The class, Ms. Cooper says, hopes to touch on all aspects of literacy and reach out to all kinds of readers.
“We wanted to make this magazine for kids who don’t normally read,” she explains, adding that the students are writing a variety of articles to cater to different tastes; from short stories to biographical pieces about their favourite athletes and celebrities.
Ms. Cooper says her class has learned a lot of valuable lessons about pooling their ideas together and using their individual skills co-operatively.
“Sometimes the kids have to realize that their idea isn’t always the best, and that it’s about working together to get the best ideas,” she says.
The magazine is being printed professionally.
Ms. Cooper says the team plans to print more than 600 copies of the magazine, with one copy for every student. The class plans to donate 50 to 100 copies to a children’s hospital.
“It’s a big project,” Ms. Cooper says. “They’re anxious to see the final product.”