Raymond Ouimet

Campbell River student project is a two-time winner

A school project offering students a glimpse into the future has made their school a winner for the second time in nearly three months

A school project offering students a glimpse into the future has made their school a winner for the second time in nearly three months.

Using the computer program Comic Life, students in Chantal Rousseau’s Grade 4, 5, 6 split class at École Mer-et-montagne designed a graphic novel, with the scene set at the students’ 20-year reunion in the year 2025.

The concept was one of 10 winning entries in a contest sponsored by the Centre de la Francophone (United States and Caribbean), which received 80 projects that were judged by an international panel.

That was in February and the prize was $3,000 which went towards books, educational DVDs and CDs.

Fast forward three months and the prizes are still coming.

Principal Dominique Joyal was so impressed with the students’ work that she decided to enter it into a second contest, this one sponsored by L’Association Canadienne d’education en langue Française (ACELF).

“We submitted the contest to ACELF and we won. And this time we won the national prize,” Joyal said at a celebration assembly at the school last Thursday which included a special dance performance for the parents.

The win also earned the school a visit from ACELF governor Raymond Ouimet who presented the students with a certificate and a trophy which the school will have its name engraved on and will get to keep for one year.

The students also won the school $1,000 which will go towards educational tools.

“It really helps us to advance and offer more educational activities with more resources,” Joyal said.

The school is already fairly advanced and it’s because the French school district embraces technology that the project was so successful.

Each student once they reach Grade 4 is given their own laptop.

The students were able to use those computers to design their own pages of the graphic novel.

Using Photoshop, the students placed themselves in the city they saw themselves living in 2025. They also had to decide on an occupation, and what present-day obstacle they were able to overcome in 20 years.

A big component of the project was photography.

Rousseau said the students took more than 250 pictures around the school, including a shot of the students dressed up as adults celebrating their 20th reunion with a cake, a buffet, and balloons. The younger students at the school were used as the “children” of the former students.

“The students had to discuss different places where Francophones live, we used grammar, we did everything with this project,” Rousseau said. “They were allowed to reflect their identity.

“All my students saw themselves still speaking French in 2025 – to me that was important.”