Marymount Academy Travelling Group Hosts Penny Table & Bake Sale At the Mall

A group of approximately 20 students from Grades 7 through 12 at Marymount Academy are planning an educational trip to Europe during the March Break in the spring of 2007. That means that for the next nine or ten months they will be out trying to raise money to pay for the trip. The Travelling Group took advantage of the heavy traffic in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre to hold a Penny Table and Bake Table recently. Shown in the photo above, from the left, are: Kayla Ryan, Shandi Charette, and Kaitlyn Charette. Both Kayla and Kaitlyn are in Grade 7 at Marymount. Kaitlyn's mother, Shandi, will be one of the parents accompanying the group on the trip.

In the photo below we have Kaitlyn and Kayla with Kayla's grandmother, Helen Ryan and her grandson, five-year old Bradey Ryan. Helen did much of the baking for the table which was a popular feature during the weekend.


Two Public Health Nurses from the Sudbury & District Health Unit were in the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre on April 22, 2006, spreading a very important message to young people who may be attending graduation parties and Prom Night celebrations this spring.

Several valuable pamphlets and brochures were distributed to youth and parents who dropped by the booth. As well, free photos were provided to people who choose to have their photo taken on the "Turkey Board".

The Grad Turkey poster was designed by students from Ecole Secondaire Hanmer.

Christine Prokulevich, on the left, and Debbie Digby drove home the message to hundreds of visitors. Besides the fact that there are many financial consequences to drinking and driving after attending a grad party, the consequences of loss of life or permanent disability are even greater.

Parents are urged to make sure that their children understand that they will come and pick them up with no questions asked if they have been drinking at a party.

The following links are recommended reading for parents and teenagers:

bulletTips for Students
bulletTips for Parents
bulletThe consequences of Impaired Driving Charges
Kourtney Smith Enjoying The Journey Towards 40 Community Service Volunteer Hours
Kourtney Smith, a student at Lockerby Composite School in Sudbury, is one young lady who is enjoying her community service volunteer hours. Kourtney, the daughter of Blaine Smith, an executive with the Sudbury Wolves, took time out of her Sunday afternoon schedule to assist the Staal brothers, Marc, on the left, and Jared, during a recent autograph session at Desjardins' Food Basics.

On this day, Kourtney was responsible for handing out souvenir items to the adults and children who lined up to spend a brief moment with two future stars of the NHL. She demonstrated an extremely high degree of poise and maturity as she thanked people for coming by and wished the minor hockey players luck in their own season.

All secondary school students are responsible for the completion of 40 community service volunteer hours in order to graduate from Grade 12. Many, like Kourtney, complete their required hours during their first or second years. And then, they continue to go out and volunteer even more hours simply because of the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment they receive from contributing in a positive way to their community.

When Kourtney has a better understanding of her career goals, something she is still struggling with, she will be able to volunteer her time in areas that will help her develop an effective network among the people in her chosen career. It is a way for young people to position themselves for entry into the workplace after they graduate from post-secondary school. 

For now, Kourtney is planning on attending university after she graduates from Lockerby. Where and what she will be taking will be decided within the next couple of years. The poise and attitude she demonstrated while acting as a "hostess" during the autograph session indicate that Kourtney has a pretty good future in public relations.


Written by Brittney Cooke

February 6, 2007: We are pleased to bring you a short story that was written by a young girl who is currently in Grade 5. It will give you an example of what an 11-year old is capable of when she has been given the support and motivation needed to light a passion inside her for communication. Brittney has had absolutely no assistance in writing this story. She first wrote the story when she was 8 years old for an enrichment class and then rewrote it for a writing contest that she entered in December 2006. Brittney did all of the typing, editing, etc. herself and came up with the idea on her own. Many teachers are beginning to use this method in their writing classes. A child can take a favourite story of hers from previous years and then revise the story each year. It will be very clear where the improvements have been made and the child can see for herself how she has grown as a writer. After several years or rewriting, the student will have a brilliant composition which clearly reflects her growth as an individual and a writer. Brittney has provided a brief bio below. We are sure you will be impressed with the story. Hopefully, we will be able to bring you the next revised version a year from now.

Young Winners Announced in 2006

Imperial Oil Foundation Writing Contest!


TORONTO: Thursday, March 1, 2007 — The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is delighted to announce the winners of the 2006 Imperial Oil Foundation Writing Contest.  

The contest is a much-anticipated part of TD Canadian Children's Book Week festivities (November 18 to 25, 2006), allowing hundreds of students from across Canada to share their stories while celebrating and participating in Book Week. A record-breaking 1560 entries poured into the Canadian Children's Book Centre’s national office in December for the fifth annual Imperial Oil Foundation Writing Contest—three times the number of entries received for the 2005 contest! 

In keeping with this year’s theme—Deep Readingyoung writers from across Canada, in grades two to six, were invited to send in stories or poems about life above and below the water! From pirates and mermaids, to sea horse races and hidden treasure, these stories from the winners and honourable mentions will have you turning the pages in anticipation!

… and the WINNERS are: 

Grade 2: Wenzdae Dimaline-Brewster of Toronto, Ontario (Age 7) for her story The Magic Gem
Wenzdae has crafted a story well beyond her years with the use of rich language and broad themes. This young writer used humour to draw her readers in and help them get to know her main characters ensuring that the reader wanted to follow them on their quest. The story’s pacing was spot on. Dialogue was used not only to move the action forward but also to reveal something about her characters.  In addition, her postscript explaining that there is no magic gem that can stop pollution demonstrated a deep understanding of how powerful stories are. Sheryl McFarlane, Grade 2 judge

Grade 3: Erika Bech-Hansen of Toronto, Ontario (Age 8) for her story The Fish
This story has everything: a bullying problem, a credible solution, interaction between boys and girls, genuine emotion and a seeming change of heart.  There's a twist near the end, and another twist at the end.  I agree with the big fish in the story:  "You're cool." Richard Scrimger, Grade 3 judge

Grade 4: Alicia Bryn Borgmann Armstrong of Chilliwack, British Columbia (Age 9) for her story Mermaid City
Alicia's story-within-the-story idea is a classic technique and she did a very good job having the grandfather tell the story of the underwater city to his granddaughter. It is also very interesting how her story had a deeper, symbolic meaning. She uses wonderful descriptive details to make her scenes realistic. Sylvia Gunnery, Grade 4 judge

Grade 5: Eva Lynne Trabucco of St. Catherines, Ontario (Age 10) for her story Sonya's Hope
I loved this story — with its inventive and exciting twist to the story of pollution in our waters. Sonya’s Hope is a well crafted, spell binding tale and Eva has presented interesting characters, solid dialogue, a gripping plot and a detailed, very believable setting. All of this has combined to produce a wonderful story that will keep readers glued to the page and that Eva can be very proud.
David Poulsen, Grade 5 judge

Grade 6: Megan Kazakoff of Powell River, British Columbia (Age 11) for her story Underwater Dark
Megan uses a great combination of beautiful language and detail, and excellent pacing and drama to tell a wonderful story. And the ending even gives the reader a chuckle as well! Sylvia McNicoll, Grade 6 judge      

The winner from each grade will receive a $200 gift certificate for the bookstore of his or her choice. Due to the outstanding quality of writing submitted by the young writers this year, the Writing Contest judges have also selected two honourable mentions from each grade level.


Grade 2: Morgan Crome of Arthur, Ontario (Age 7) for her story Swimming in the Rain

Grade 2: Savannah Ross
of Utopia, New Brunswick (Age 7) for her poem The Lake Utopia Sea Monster

Grade 3:
Kira Bennett of Vancouver, British Columbia (Age 8) for her story Shark Attack!

Grade 3: Jacob Gillett of Calgary, Alberta (Age 8) for his story The Sea Creature Within

Grade 4: Tefani Perera of Calgary, Alberta (Age 9) for her story What Lies Beneath the Sea?

Grade 4: Lloyd Lyall of Vancouver, British Columbia (Age 9) for his story Egon's Escape

Grade 5: Molly Dyck of Lacombe, Alberta (Age 10) for her story Mystery at the Underwater Race Track

Grade 5: Brittney Cooke of Barrie, Ontario (Age 10) for her story The Bottle of Hope

Grade 6: Lucas Cohen of Thornhill, Ontario (Age 11) for his story Pirate of the Seven Seas: The Curse of the Skull Diamond

Grade 6: Karolyn Aucoin of Chéticamp, Nova Scotia (Age 11) for her story Autumn's Opus

Hi! I’m Brittney. I’m 10 years old, turning 11 in March.

I LOVE reading- it’s my favourite hobby! I also rock climb, indoors. It’s fun! My favourite sports are soccer and basketball, basketball a bit more than soccer.

My mom is American and my dad is Canadian-I’m an Amcanican! Hehehe……I’m a bit of a jokester.

My favourite place in the whole world (that I have been to) is either Ireland or Calgary , Alberta . I was born in Calgary, and lived there for 6 years, but then we moved to Ontario . I still love it here though. We (me and my 8 year old brother, Austin) go to a great school, and we fit in pretty well. I do pretty well in school, especially writing and reading.

I want to be an author when I grow up. I want to write novels, and maybe go under the name Bailey HunterJ- it would be so cool! I also want to be a part-time rock climbing instructor-and climber of course!

Well, that’s me! Hope you like my story(s)!

Brittney Cooke

 The Bottle of Hope
Written by Brittney Cooke

          Megan cheerfully flung open the door to her family’s cottage. She had not been there for years! When her parents had told her that they were going to visit, Megan and her younger brother Zack had practically been jumping off the walls with excitement! They could barely handle the 30 minute ride! As Megan walked into the main entrance, she recognized the place immediately, and all her summer memories flooded into her like a giant tidal wave. It was a pretty, cozy little shack with old style beach stencilled curtains and comfy green and blue couches. It had a snug kitchen off to the side and three other rooms by the left side of the house. It wasn’t much, but Megan and her family loved it.

          Megan dropped her bags onto the floor of her room and untied a hair elastic to let her beautiful, shiny blond hair that glistened when the sun crept upon it go. Her deep, sincere twinkling blue eyes gazed down at her green T-shirt and dark bluejeans. Farther down she wore crisp white and black Nike running shoes and white socks. Kind and fun, Megan had a lot of friends. They admired how she was so outgoing and nice, which showed in her room. There were pictures of her and her friends outlining her handmade body mirror. Rows and rows of colourful stuffed animals covered her also handmade twin bed. Her walls were decorated in posters of her favourite bands, all hanging overtop of her light blue coloured wall.

          As soon as Megan had unpacked her bags, she rushed to the back door of her house and opened it, closing her eyes. She was greeted by a waft of warm refreshing air. Before using her eyes, Megan used her other senses. When breathed in, she tasted the salty sea air, and when she listened carefully, she heard the sounds of waves crashing heavily on the beach, like a monster trying to reach out and grab for something. Megan took it all in, savouring every last bit; then-she opened her eyes. Megan gasped with horror. What she thought had been there was not.

          In front of Megan was a vast, unforgiving sea of pollution. There were cans and bottles that floated absently in the water, overturned rotting wooden barrels and sharp metal rings that held pop cans. There were cardboard boxes soaked in sea water, dead fish floating lifelessly above the water. As Megan drew closer, she inhaled putrid gas fumes, and saw oil spills and oil bottles. Megan was horrified of what had become of her once sparkling, clear blue ocean she knew so long ago.

          At dinner time, Megan told her family about the water. They already knew. Megan had not imagined anything so disturbing and horrible could happen to the ocean she loved and had loved since she was little. It was like a piece of her heart and soul had been torn savagely out of place.

          Soon after dinner, Megan went to bed. She could not sleep; every time she tried, that nagging scene of the ocean submerged in trash tore at her like a ravaging lion, leaving her heart in pieces. Then a horrid thought reached her mind-what if the ocean stayed like that forever? Megan shuddered. Finally, after numerous tearing thoughts, Megan fell asleep to the sound of the oceans dirty water lapping along the shore.

          The next morning, Megan got up and had breakfast-a bowl of soggy Cherrios-and went outside for a walk. As Megan strolled along the beach lonely beach, she came across a bottle. It was half stuck in the sand, and it was covered in seaweed. Megan picked it up, interested, and slid it into her pocket.

          When Megan got home she went into her room to study the bottle more closely. It was one of the bottles that people always send back and forth in movies and books. It looked rather old, as if it had been buried for years, still small crusts of dry sand stuck to the bottom. It seemed pretty normal, until Megan spotted a small set of wavy letters and words along the side of the bottle. Squinting, Megan could barely see what the bottle said, but from what she made out, the bottle read, SAVE THE OCEAN…..SAVE ME. Megan had no idea what it meant. She shrugged and put the bottle on her dresser as her mom called her for lunch.

          After lunch, Megan went outside to explore again. As she walked along the beach, Megan saw a figure in the distance. When she drew closer, more description came into view. It was a girl, around the same age as Megan-10 years old-with straight, brown as chestnuts long hair and tanned skin. She had deep, mezmorizing green eyes and dark green cargo shorts. She also wore a dark red T-shirt and light yellow sandals. Her face showed a worried expression, as if something was bothering her. When she spotted Megan, she smiled and said, “Hi’’. Megan repeated the greeting.

“Are you new around here?’’ asked the girl. Megan replied, “No, but I haven’t been here for years.” The girls started walking. Then a thought came to Megan-what if this girl knew about the bottle? And who was she anyway?

“What’s your name?” asked Megan.

Sandy , yours?”


Now Megan asked, “Have you ever found anything er… interesting on the beach?” Sandy said, “No, you?”

“Well, I found a bottle, but…”

“A bottle?” asked Sandy , suddenly interested. “Could you bring it here in the morning?”

“Well sure, I guess...”

“Great! I have to go now, so bye!” And with that, the mysterious girl Sandy ran back to where she came from. Megan frowned, confused. Then she shrugged and headed home for dinner.

          The next morning, Megan headed outside with the bottle, as wanted. Waiting for her was Sandy . Megan greeted her then asked “So what are you going to do with it?”

“Just watch” was her reply. And with that, Sandy down to the garbage infested ocean and dragged the bottle across its surface, collecting dirty water as she went.  Megan watched, stunned, as Sandy lifted the bottle, now filled with murky water, and dug into her pocket. Sandy then pulled out a cork and stabbed it into the top of the bottle.

“There!” Sandy said proudly, beaming as she handed the bottle over to Megan. “Keep it in your room-it should be safe there. Bye now, I have to go.” And she cheerfully skipped off. Stunned yet again by this very peculiar girl, Megan pocketed the bottle and headed home.

          When Megan got back to her cottage, she snuck the bottle into her room-she did not want her family to know about anything-and placed the bottle on her dresser. Then she sat on her bed, thinking about all of the events that had occurred in the past two days. She stayed there until hunger came, and the urge to eat was overwhelming-so she went down to eat.

          As the days dragged on, Megan and Sandy met by the beach every day. Some days they sat and talked on the beach, others they walked up and down the beach, over and over. On the fourth day, Megan started to notice that the water was getting clearer, and once she could have sworn that she saw something swimming in there. Megan knew it was impossible, but the thought kept coming back to her like a boomerang-what if this bottle was magical, and it was clearing the water? On the sixth day, she found out.

          It was in her room, after dinner. Megan was starring absently at the water, daydreaming. Suddenly, the bottle’s water started swirling like an underwater tornado, clearing the water. Just as soon as the water had started, it stopped swirling, but in a different state-the water was completely clear, like the ocean used to be. Megan gasped as she saw mini dolphins and sharks. There was coral and reefs, red and blue and any other vibrant colour imaginable and flashing scales of colourful fish. It was as if the ocean had been shrunk down to size to fit into the bottle. It was a breathtaking sight. Megan was flooded with joy and surprise. She never could have imagined anything like this in her dizziest daydreams.

The days crawled on, each one filling Megan with more joy when she looked at the bottle. The only thing that brought her hopes down was when she thought about how the only true beauty of the ocean was in the bottle-the ocean outside was still disgusting. Megan wished terribly-even more than she wished for a dog-that the ocean outside was as the same as the ocean inside.

On the last day of Megan’s visit, Megan knew that she had to let the water from the bottle go. She shuddered at the thought, but she knew she had to do it. So after her last dinner at the cottage, Megan walked down the beach to where she found the enchanting bottle. As if she knew it was Megan’s last day, Sandy was at the spot. They nodded to each other, then, bending down, Megan carefully pulled off the cork of the bottle and tilted it down, letting the enchanting water slither smoothly and silently into the oceans horrid water. At first, nothing happened, then something magical happened, something Megan would not believe if she had not seen it. The water from the ocean spread, covering the ocean as far as they could see. All dirty water was replaced with wonderfully clear water. Dolphins leaped happily in the water, fish swam delightfully in circles. The ocean was free of pollution, and Sandy and Megan could have stood there forever watching the red and yellow sunset.

Just as Megan thought it was all over, the bottle vanished from her hand and dissolved into air, soon becoming wind. The wind flew over the ocean, lost forever.

When Megan and her family were all packed, Megan said goodbye to Sandy . They hugged, then Megan got in the car. She gave a silent farewell to her beloved ocean, happy of what a simple yet magical bottle could do to overcome pollution.

CONGRATULATIONS on an excellent story, Brittney. And thank you for sharing it with us.

If any other student in the Valley East or Capreol Area is interested in submitting a finished copy of their favourite story, please feel free to send it to us at the following email address

Education Travel Group Hosts Penny Sale To Raise Funds For Trip To Italy In Spring of 2007
Shandi Charette is shown taking care of the Penny Table for the Educational Travel Club which consists of students from Grades 7 to 12 who are preparing for a special educational trip to Italy in March 2007. The penny table was held on the weekend of October 20 to 22, 2006 and contained many spectacular prizes.

The "Not Too Big To Be Small Players" From Thorneloe University Put On Special Live Performance of 'A Christmas Version of Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs'
The Centre Court of the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon may seem an unlikely place to find a live theatre performance, but that is exactly what shoppers found on December 9, 2006 when students from the Thorneloe University Theatre Arts Program entertained children "of all ages" with their rendition of 'A Christmas Version of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs'. The performers, from left to right are: Tim Rapal, Sabrina Heydorn, Claudia Rossi, Elvin Etcubanez, David Shut, Nikki Hulskramer, Alysha Keir, Blythe Gerrie.
The performance was well received by the audience. Many stopped their shopping to take in the twenty minute play. Some of the youngest visitors to the shopping centre were curious and a bit leery about taking part in the 'interactive' performance. The little boy and his sister below are satisfied to watch from a distance.
Others, like the older children below, were quite eager to volunteer to become performers themselves.
They call themselves the "Not Too Big To Be Small Players" who have existed as part of the Thorneloe University Theatre Arts Program since 2003. 
Ulrich Sikora, shown to the left, is the professor of the Theatre In Education II course as well as the Introduction To Theatre course at Thorneloe. Students from both the first year and advanced programs take part in about 3 or 4 interactive children's plays such as this each year.

"This was the first time we have performed in a shopping centre, so it will be quite interesting to hear the feedback from the students. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, but it was definitely a different experience for them," Sikora explained. 

Ulrich Sikora, a professional educator for the past 30 years has been with Thorneloe University for the past four years. During the course of his career, he has taught in places such Germany, Norway, Poland, Japan, the United States, and now, Ontario. He was born and raised in Germany and moved to Valley East in 1968. He now owns a home in Val Therese.

The students in the program perform for the Ontario Early Years Centres, of which there are some 20 locations, as well as for the Kids Share Program.

Thorneloe also puts on two main-stage performances each year. This year they put on Macbeth in November and are currently working on Molier's 'Tartuffe', a commentary on religious hypocrisy which be performed in March and will also be entered in the Quantas Northern Ontario Festival in Espanola.

Ulrich is also currently directing a play called 'Autobahn' which will be seen a the Market Square this coming summer. 

Sikora feels that there is a growing interest in dramatic arts and theatre programs such as the ones he teaches because so many people are discovering that the skills used in acting come in handy in many other areas of life. "The ability to communicate; to improvise and think on your feet; along with the self-confidence you gain by being on stage are all very important as you go through life"


Education Travel Group Holds Bake Sale & Penny Table To Raise Funds For Trip To Italy In The Spring

A group of approximately 20 students from Grades 7 through 12 at Marymount Academy are planning an educational trip to Europe during the March Break in the spring of 2007. That means that for the next several months they will be out trying to raise money to pay for the trip. Shandi Charette and her daughter, Kaitlyn ran another successful bake sale and penny table at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre to raise some of the money they will need for the trip. Shandi will be one of the parents accompanying the students on the trip, so the Charette family must raise double the amount of others. The Charettes wish to thank everyone from the community who purchased baking and entered the penny table contest.
Raise Awareness About School Bus Safety Is Lifetime Commitment by Adam Ranger's Family
Local residents will notice a large billboard like the one above on Highway 69 North in Val Caron near the Whitson River bridge across from Cecile Street. The awareness campaign, which is being sponsored by the Greater Sudbury Police Services Board and the Sudbury Police Association, is designed to remind everyone about Adam Ranger, who was five years old when he was hit by a truck after stepping off the school bus in Mattawa. Since Feb. 11, 2000 , the Ranger family has vowed to increase public awareness about the consequences of illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Just to drive home the importance of the campaign, the same week the sign was unveiled, Riley Richer, a five year old Hanmer boy was hit by a car as he crossed Elmview Drive after getting off his school bus. The driver of the car, Jessica Chiblow, 19, of Hanmer, is facing numerous charges under the Highway Traffic Act. Fortunately, the boy was not seriously injured and was released from the hospital that same night, but it is definitely an experience he will remember for the rest of his life. It could also have had far more devastating results. 

The driver of the truck that struck Adam Richer was convicted of criminal negligence causing death and manslaughter.

It is hoped that the signs will make a huge difference in how drivers approach school buses this year. The law states that motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing. The only exception is on highways with a median, where traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.


Two Young Students From Valley East & Capreol Among Winners of Greater Sudbury Public Library Design-A-Bookmark Contest

The Greater Sudbury Public Library “Design-A-Bookmark” contest was once again a big hit.  Twelve winning bookmarks were selected from a total of 570 entrants.  These winning designs were chosen to be printed as the library’s official bookmarks for 2006.  The contest was open to any student from junior kindergarten up to and including grade twelve.

Staff from the Greater Sudbury Public Library selected the winning entries.  Congratulations to the winners. Their bookmarks will be available at all thirteen locations of Greater Sudbury Public Library:

Camille - age 5 - École publique Hélène-Gravel

Mikhellie - age 5 - Northern Elementary Academy

Miranda - age 7 - Westmount Avenue Public

Amanda - age 8 - Westmount Avenue Public

Thomas - age 9 - C.R. Judd Public

Katelyn - age 10 - Valley View Public

Curtis - age 11 - Carl A. Nesbitt Public

Simon - age 12 - Northern Elementary Academy

Justin - age 13 - Carl A. Nesbitt Public

Celeigh - age 14 - Marymount Academy

Mireille - age 15 - Macdonald-Cartier

Grant - age 16 - Lively District

Ginette Mallette, the Children and Teens Programmer with the Greater Sudbury Public Library thanked all who entered the contest and urges all residents to visit  the library and pick up one of the winning bookmarks for 2006.


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