ECOLE PUBLIQUE DE LA DECOURVERTE Parent Council Busy Raising Money For Playground Equipment For Their New School In Val Caron
Visitors to the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre on December 8 and 9 were in for a real treat as School Council members from ECOLE PUBLIQUE DE LA DECOUVERTE were on hand selling delicious baking goods. The bake sale was organized as part of an ongoing fund-raising program to help pay for the playground equipment for the new school in Val Caron.

Shown in the photo from the left are three of the members of the School Council: Carole Rochette, Present of the Parent Council; Suzanne Soulliere, Coordinator of the Bake Sale and Custodian of the school; and Bernadette Mrochek-Dennie, Council member.

Besides the bake sale, the group is planning a huge Family Night on March 29, 2007 as one of their major fund-raisers. They held a silent auction in October that also went over well.

There are about 150 students from JK to Grade 6 attending the new facility which is located on Main Street East in Val Caron.

The School Council meets on the 2nd Monday of every month to discuss fund-raising projects, plan events and deal with other matters of interest to the parents and the staff. Meetings are open to the public.

Neil's Independent Grocer And President's Choice Children's Charity Provides Financial Assistance to The Poirier Family of Hanmer
The President's Choice Children's Charity is dedicated to helping children who are physically or developmentally challenged.

We provide direct financial assistance in the purchase of mobility equipment, environmental modifications, physical therapy and more in an effort to remove some of the obstacles that make everyday living extremely difficult for these children.

Loblaws founded the charity in 1989 and has since raised in excess of $15,000,000 and helped over 3,500 families across Canada. Anyone with a child or young adult under the age of 25 with a physical or developmental disability can apply for financial assistance through this program. Just stop by Neil's Independent Grocers and talk to Neil for more information.

This past year, the staff at Neil's Independent Grocers held barbecues, walkathons, skateathons, draws, fish ponds and cake tables, raising over $10,000 for the President's Choice Charity. In recognition for its efforts, two local families received grants through the program.

In the photo above, Neil Lindenbach, owner of Neil's Independent Grocers, is shown with the Poirier Family of Hanmer. Claire Poirier is a single mother, raising three children. She is in the photo with two of her children: Francois (18), who attends Grade 12 at Ecole Secondaire Hanmer, and Isaac (10). Anik (6) was at home at the time of the photo.

For Claire, who was born and raised in Valley East, being the mother of an autistic child, Isaac, means being always unsure of the future. "Each day is a new day and you just don't know what it will bring. Isaac attends school at Ste. Marie in Azilda because it is the only school I know of that offers a special classroom for autistic children. He is extremely hyper-sensitive and takes a long time to adjust to changes in his routine, so I find that being in this class is good for him at this time."

It is quite difficult raising three children as a single mom in the first place, but having an autistic child brings with it even more challenges. Claire holds down two part-time jobs as a nurse so that she can take more time off if needed to attend to Isaac's requirements or to catch up on some much-needed rest. 

"Francois is a great help to me," Claire declared. "I also need to hire help from time to time."

The grant from the President's Choice Children's Charity will be used to erect a fence around Claire's property in order to ensure that Isaac remains in the yard and doesn't venture off without telling anyone where he is going. This has always been a safety concern for the Poirier family and having the fence is going to make it much easier to allow Isaac to enjoy playing in the yard.

Neil is extremely proud of his staff who are always willing to take part in fund-raising ventures to assist in the ultimate goal of raising money for this worthwhile charity. "To have two grants in the same year is really quite remarkable and will certainly help motivate my staff even more."

Junior Grade Students From Immaculate Conception School Spend Their Saturday Morning Entertaining The Public
Mr. Luciano Ingriselli, Core French Teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Val Caron, is shown below playing his guitar to accompany the Grade 4 to 6 students who turned out on the morning of Saturday, December 16, 2006, to sing Christmas carols at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre.
The guitar and the drums were perfect accompaniments to the beautiful voices of the children as they entertained dozens of parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and shoppers who took time from their busy routines to enjoy the music.
The students form the School Choir. It was obvious to everyone that they came well-prepared. Their voices projected down the busy corridors as shoppers and merchants alike welcomed their wonderful contribution to the "Spirit of Christmas" on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Ecole St-Joseph Students Take Part In Lip Sync Competition 

   Recently students at St-Joseph Catholic School in Hanmer have participated in a Lip Sync Competition.  Our Grade 1 students won 1st place and our Kindergarten came 2nd place. We are very proud of our Grade 3 students who did a spectacular performance.

   This extra curricular activity exposed talented artists from Wawa through to Warren .  Students are given the opportunity to listen to and develop an appreciation for our French music.  They learn to perform in front of a large audience which encourages them to gain self-confidence.  Finally, performing in groups, teaches students how to work cooperatively. What a GREAT opportunity!

  Our students are eager to participate in this competition every year. As for the parents, they are very proud of their children for doing such a fantastic performance.
   We thank all of the special people who made this activity possible such as our parents, our students, our teachers and our School Board!

C’est chaque jour qu’il faudrait dire des 
mots d’amour à nos mamans!

Les amis de St-Joseph ont cherché à combler ce désir en visitant les résidentes du Centre Elizabeth à Blezard Valley. Les mamans du Centre et le personnel étaient réjouis d’entendre nos enfants chanter quelques chansons d’amour. Cependant, leur cœur de maman était encore plus touché lorsque chaque petit ami leur a remis une carte de souhait accompagnée d’un œillet. Quel bonheur, quelle joie de nous réunir autour de toutes ces mamans!


Beavers, Cubs And Scouts Distribute Apples To Residents of Valley East During Annual Fund-Raiser

Lynn Lachance, a Cub Leader with the 1st Valley East Scouts, is shown with her 8-year old daughter, Roxanne, during the Annual Apple Day fund-raising drive held in Valley East on Saturday, October 7, 2006. Roxanne attends Grade 3 at Ecole St. Joseph on St. Anthony Street and has been a member of the organization for 3 years. Roxanne's brother, Andre, is also a Cub. He was selling apples in another section of the mall at the time the photo was taken.

Lynn speaks very highly of the 1st Valley East Scouting group and feels it provides an excellent experience for young children. This year there are 36 young boys and girls registered in the organization. There are 15 Beavers (aged 5 to 8); 15 Cubs (aged 8 to 11); and 6 Scouts (over 11 years of age).

The Beavers and Cubs meet every Wednesday evening at St. Anne School in Hanmer, while the Scouts meet every Tuesday at the same place. Other activities and outings take place on weekends during the year which runs from September to May.

Debbra Christianson, shown in the photo to the right, Scout Leader with the 1st Valley East Scouts,  holds up a display board that was used at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre during registrations which were held in September. 

This marked the first time that the scouts have used the mall for registrations and Debbra was pleased with the response.

"We gained nine new members while we were in the mall, so it was very worthwhile for us to be there," she explained.

If anyone is still interested in joining this great organization, you can call Debbra at 969-7095 or Olivia Lobbon at 222-8878.


Grade 3 & 4 Students From Ecole Notre Dame de L'Esperance Introduced To Golf

Vic Whissell, owner of the Valley Family Golf Centre on Regional Road 15 in Blezard Valley, takes a moment out to show Veronique Beaudry some of the finer points of how to hit a golf ball. Veronique is a student in Ms. Celine  Hogue's class at Ecole Notre Dame de L'Esperance. Ms. Hogue is watching with two more students, Sylvie Pilon and Steven Beaupre.

Each June, the Grade 3 & 4 classes have been coming out for a two-hour lesson from Vic to introduce the young boys and girls to the game of golf as part of the Physical Education curriculum. 

Vic Whissell has the children take all of the golf balls they need during the session and he personally goes around providing individual instruction.  

Former Easter Seal Ambassador Doesn’t Let Her Physical Disability Affect Her Attitude

Eleven year old Jeanie Rochon-Poirier never lets her physical disability get in the way of trying out new experiences. 

Here she is getting some golf tips from Vic Whissell, owner of the Valley Family Golf Centre on Regional Road 15 in Blezard Valley

Jeanie, who is a former Easter Seal Ambassador, was on a field trip with her Grade 4 class from Ecole Notre Dame de l’Esperance. 

Every June the school sends their Grade 3 and 4 classes for a two-hour outing on the driving range. 

Jeanie is a victim of Spina-Bifida, but according to her Teacher’s Aid, she is a model student who accepts all challenges and loves being with people. 

Jeanie was a great Ambassador for Easter Seals during her two-year term and continues to provide motivation and inspiration to everyone she meets.

Vic Whissell has a soft spot in his heart for all children who attempt to learn the game of golf. It is, according to Vic, one of the best sports in the world, and something that you can enjoy playing your entire life.

Minor Hockey Team Raises Money For Breast Cancer Research As Well As For Own Expenses
The Northern Sports Photo Crush Atom House League Team was in the mall selling raffle tickets on a Flite Pink Hockey Stick valued at around $250. Proceeds from the sale of tickets are to be used to help defray the cost of tournaments for the team, but the club is also devoting half of the money to Breast Cancer Research.

Shown above, helping her mother, Nicole, with the ticket sales, is ten year old, Veronique Beaudry. Veronique is in her 2nd year playing hockey, having spent three years in figure skating. She is definitely finding her figure skating training a big help in her transition to the game of hockey.

"My brother plays hockey, so I wanted to try it out too," explained Veronique who likes all of the usual things about hockey, such as making new friends, going to tournaments, and the competition. But her favourite thing about the sport is, "scoring goals!"

Veronique attends Grade 5 at Ecole Jean-Paul II in Val Caron.

The draw for the hockey stick will be made on December 16, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. In order to accommodate whoever wins the stick, it is also available blue, Junior or Senior, and for a left or right hand player.


New School In Val Caron Involved in Fund-Raising For Two Very Important Projects For Children

Principal, Luc Dalcourt and Carole Landry, Teacher of the Deaf & Blind, were on hand to promote two important projects that are now on-going at the new ECOLE ELEMENTAIRE JEAN-PAUL II which is now open for students in Val Caron. This September NOTRE DAME DU ROSAIRE and NOTRE DAME DE L'ESPERANCE elementary schools merged, creating a state of the art school which will better meet the needs of all students. Luc and Carole were taking part in the Valley East Lions Charity Days on September 9 to show the public information about the Snoezelen Room Project and the New School Yard Equipment Fund-Raising Project. Be watching Valley East Today for much more on going information about the Snoezelen Room.
Mayor John Rodriguez Talks To Young Performers From Pinecrest During Film Session at The Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre

Most students can find many things to do on a Sunday afternoon, but on April 15 the five Grade 8 students from Pinecrest Public School were spending time at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre filming a class production with their teacher. Mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury John Rodriguez happened to be in the mall at the same time and took a few moments to sit and talk to the students. Mayor Rodriguez is a former Vice-Principal with the Sudbury District Catholic School Board.

The students, from the left are: Leah Aelick, Josh Fex, Alyssa Hanson, Jessie Michael, Mayor Rodrigues, and Emily Mejia.

Other members of the film crew shown in the photo above, included: Luke Blais, Eric Punkari, Mr. Scott Zoldy, Cassie Young, Donald Beaton, and Jacob Sherrington. The name of the film is "The Last Hour". Below, the group is shown in the parking lot discussing a scene from the film.

Jacob is being referred to by Mr. Zoldy as "a gifted filmaker in the making, even perhaps another James Cameron who wrote the Titanic." Jacob has assisted Mr. Zoldy in writing, producing and directing three of the films made this year.

He has also created a movie trailer without assistance for the school's feature film entitled, "Devoured". The movie trailer has been entered in the Shorties Film Festival. Jacob's goal is to attend Film School and afterwards produce and direct films.

Mr. Zoldy added, "We are currently shooting our third film entitled, "The Last Hour", written by Jacob and he is also taking the lead on this one. He has certainly inspired me this year as well as the cast of actors. Our cast of actors is awesome! Over 40 students have participated in the production of our films this year. This has been a positive outlet for many of our students here at Pinecrest.

The entire community is invited to an exciting media production, "The Red Carpet", which will be presented by the Pinecrest Public School Drama Club from May 14 to 18, 2007. Each day at 10:00 a.m. as well as at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 and Thursday, May 17, 2007 the audience will be able to view three films on the big 12 foot by 12 foot projection screen. 

The films which will be viewed include:

EVOLUTIONARY: a documentary of Confederation Secondary School's Rock Band;

DEVOURED:  a horror film about a group of students that seek refuge in a school from the living dead, ZOMBIES;

THE LAST HOUR: an action/drama about a group of friends that contend with the horror of an asteroid headed towards earth.

THE RED CARPET will be a fund-raising event for the Pinecrest Drama Club with admission of $2 per person being charged.

Two of the films are entered in the Shorties Film Festival where last year, their production of ODD BOYS OUT won first place.

"I am proud of their overall talent. It is amazing to see this caliber of work from Grade 8 students. I am surprised with their commitment to this production. They have volunteered their time after school on weekends to ensure the success of this production," explained Mr. Scott Zoldy.


  Grade 7 Students From Pinecrest 
Sing For The Telethon

Congratulations to this group of Grade 7 students from Pinecrest Public School for spending time to sing Christmas Carols at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre. The group was raising money for the MCTV Christmas Telethon which was held on December 3 and raised a total of $250,000.
Talent Show Winners From Pinecrest Public School Earn The Right To Record Music CD 

Mr. Jacques Mantha, Principal of Pinecrest Public School in Val Therese, took five of his Grade 8 students over to Confederation Secondary School on January 16 for a very special treat. As winners of the school talent contest in December, the five students earned the chance to record their very own CD in the Confederation School Recording Studio. One copy of the finished CD will be kept at the school, and each of the students will receive their own to keep.

The three students above were waiting for their turn to go in front of the microphone. From the left with Mr. Mantha, Kristen Demore, Jacqueline Villeneuve, and Emily Mejia. 

In the photo below, Kary-Lynn Mercer and Andre Scott receive some last minute adjustments and tips from Mr. Norm McIntosh, the Music Director at Confederation.


Pinecrest is what is known as a "middle-school", with about 210 students attending Grades 6 through 8. Because of the influx of new residents and the tremendous growth in Valley East during recent years, the enrolment has been steadily increasing.

Mr. Mantha originally began his career as an educator spending ten years n Mississauga before moving to the Rainbow District School Board in 1998 where he was program leader for the Science and Math Departments at Confederation Secondary School. He spent time as a Vice-Principal at R.L. Beattie, Alexander Public School, and Val Caron Public School before coming to Pinecrest in the fall of 2006.

Mantha enjoys the opportunities that exist within the only middle-school in the district. "This type of school is common in Southern Ontario. With all of the children around the same age, there are so many things you can do in terms of extra-curricular activities and creating a positive school community for the students."

Something that has been just implemented this year is the policy of dividing the school day into three learning blocks of 100 minutes each.

"The day is divided up into three 100-minute blocks," explained Mantha. "In between the blocks are two 40-minute nutrition and activity breaks where the students have twenty minutes for snacks or lunch and then another 20 minutes for outside or inside activities. It really helps with the intra-mural program since there are two times during the day when you have enough time to work with the children."

The school day has not been extended as a result of the change. In previous years the students had a fifteen minute break in the morning and afternoon as well as 50 minutes for lunch. This 80 minutes is now done in two blocks instead of three.

"Having a full 100 minutes of learning time also allows teachers to integrate their subjects more easily," explained Mr. Mantha.


Ten Year Old Girls Show What Christmas Is All About


The two girls in the photo may only be ten years old, but their attitude towards helping the less fortunate in our community is something that you would expect from people with many more years under their belts. Sarah Draper, on the right, and her friend Laura Lafreniere both attend Grade 5 at Redwood Acres Public School

When Sarah saw some students from Pinecrest signing carols at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre the week before, she approached her mother, Lorrie Draper, and asked if it would be ok for her and Laura to do the same. Lorrie, who indicates that she and her husband, Dan, have always tried to instill in their daughters the importance of helping others in need, was thrilled at the request. The Drapers have one other older daughter, Mariah (14) who attends Bishop Alexander Carter Catholic Secondary School

The girls practiced singing the songs at home during the week in preparation for their first public performance. That week, their Grade 5 class even visited the recording studio at Confederation Secondary School to create a CD, so the girls’ interest was further stimulated. Then, on December 2, after school, Lorrie brought the two girls to the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre after school where they sang carols for a couple of hours in front of Desjardins’ Food Basics. 

According to Lorrie, “The shoppers were very generous. Just about everyone who walked by was dropping some money into the container.” 

When the girls left the mall, you could tell by the smile on their faces that they were very pleased with what they had just done. 

And you could tell from the slight glistening in the eyes of Sarah’s mother, Lorrie, that this was one young mother who was very proud of her daughter.

Grade 4/5 Class From Redwood Acres Enjoys Pizza Party For Participating in Mothers' Day Card Display


Mrs. Danielle Gagnon, Grade 4/5 teacher at Redwood Acres Public School, is shown with her happy students just before receiving their pizzas for lunch. The Pizza Party was provided by Val and Violet Mazzuca, owners of the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre in appreciation for the class participation in the Annual Mothers' Day Card Tribute which was held at the mall. The card that was done by the students is being held up in front. A total of 13 different elementary schools from Valley East and Capreol took part in the display. 

Members of the class, in no particular order, include:

Rebecca Book Jessica Busch Brandon Delisle Shelby Ernst
Zachary Farnel Ethan Hovi Natalie McDevitt Baylee Ouwens
Hannah Paquette Curtis Thompson Kyle Wilson Glen Winegarden
Sierra Crooks Jenny Emms Sean Everest Tyler Grainge
Deidre Lynn Imbeau James Innocente Jessica Lloyd Sarah MacDonald
Cameron McDonald Brent St. Pierre Logan Stamp-Elliott

The students were also taking part in Crazy Hair Day. Mrs. Gagnon's class won a School Spirit Award for having 100% participation in the event.


Grade 5 Students From Redwood Acres Sing Christmas Carols At The Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre

Visitors to the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre were treated to some wonderful singing by close to 70 Grade 5 students from Redwood Acres Public School on Thursday, December 14, 2006.
The students stopped by the mall after first entertaining the residents at the Elizabeth Centre in Val Caron. Before arriving at the mall, however, they did make one very enjoyable stop at Harvey's in Val Caron.
Grade 5 Teacher, Mrs. Kaitlin Lemega watched as her students as well as those from Ms. Nadene Houston's and Carole Burke's classes sang for almost 30 minutes in the centre court area of the mall.
The very well-behaved and polite students were great ambassadors for Redwood Acres. Everyone in the mall who heard them commented on their tremendous self-discipline and on the way they handled themselves while in this public venue. After the show was finished, many of the students took time to say hello to one of the most attentive listeners in the audience. Below, several of the students are shown with Klondike, a seeing-eye dog who accompanied one of the visitors.
Redwood Acres Public School Offers Choice of Gift Baskets In An Impressive Display
The parents and staff of Redwood Acres Public School have put together an amazing selection of gift baskets in their latest fund-raising drive. Shown above are several volunteers, including Mary Lyons, on the far left; Linda Parker, a JK teacher at the school, standing 4th from the left; and Cindy Plint, SK teacher, beside her. There were also three students helping out in selling tickets at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre the weekend of December 9 and 10, 2006.

The creative initiative allowed visitors to purchase tickets at $2 each of 3 for $5. Then, in a "penny table format", the person could select which of the baskets he/she wished to enter to have a chance of winning. The winners will be announced after the Christmas Concert which will be held at the school on the morning of December 21, 2006.

The baskets were assembled with a variety of items falling into specific categories such as: Christmas, Literacy, Men, Women, and Children.

The funds are to be used for school trips and general enhancement of school programs.

Redwood Acres Public School FundRaising Committee Is Very Active In The Community
It is extremely difficult to introduce Mrs. Mary Picciottoli-Lyons. Here she is show with her two children, Erik Lyons (6) and Jessika Lyons (9). Erik is in Grade 1 and Jessika is in Grade 4 at Redwood Acres Public School of Hanmer. On this day Mary is introduced in her capacity as the Fund-Raising Coordinator for the Redwood Acres School Council. This particular project involves the selling of chocolate bars and chocolate-covered almonds to generate revenue for school field trips which will enhance the curriculum program at the school. Mary has a very ambitious plan for the year and will be setting up at the Hanmer Valley Shopping Centre several times during the year for Penny Table Sales and Gift Basket Raffles.

As Past Chair of the School Council Mary finds that it is important for schools to get out into the community. "I just love spending time letting the general public know what we are doing at the schools. I think it is important for everyone, not just the parents of children in the school, to be aware of what is going on with the activities at the school.

Besides her responsibilities at Redwood Acres, Mary is also a Full-time student in the Child & Youth Worker Program at Cambrian College and is currently on placement at Immaculate Conception School in Val Caron. She is also a Guide Leader with the 1st Valley Guides which meet at Immaculate Conception School every week. On top of that, Mary operates an "after-school" Day Care Program out of her home. When asked how she manages, Mary simply states, "Well you do what you have to do when you are a mother. I think it is important to be involved with my children and I just love helping out in any way I can." Mary also indicated that she still has a few hours open in case something else comes up.

Redwood Acres Open House Is Always A Big Hit With The Entire Family
On September 13, 2007 Redwood Acres Public School held their annual Open House.  This year featured a circus theme with face painting, juggling and clowns.  It was a huge success with parents coming with their children to see their classrooms and meet their teachers.  Below are moments captured at the event.

Below, Cody, the son of Educational Assistant Mrs. Olivier, juggles teddy bears.

“My mom came to conference with my teacher, I came for the popcorn” says Lauren Oliver below.

Mrs. Mackenzie LRT teacher at Redwood Acres handed out lollipops to children.


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