Fossils, gardens, Alaskan adventure and much more (CLC News)

Dinosaur fossils and kindergarten students, community gardens sprout up ‘everywhere’, Alaskan adventure and much more… What’s new CLC wrap-up! (May)

Dino Dig a hit!
Dinosaurs came alive as kindergarten teacher Vicky Matzaras, took her students on a “Dino Dig” with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, from Pittsburgh (U.S.A.). Students and a few parents (who helped out) did a video conference where they learned all about dinosaurs and fossils. Students also did an in class exercise where they found fossils hidden in a bin of shredded newspaper and finally learned how to preserve their fossils just like paleontologists do. Who knows maybe a Gault student will find dinosaur bones in our own area one day or become a junior paleontologist? By the way T-Rex was definitely the favorite dinosaur of the class and he had really big teeth!  Check out our short video of the VC to see for yourself. (Video link:

Tiny Tots time
Huntingdon’s CLC Tiny Tots exercise program came to an end at the beginning of May after a 12-week session. Participants of the class brought family and friends to participate in the last session. The last class was full of fun and games which gave the kids a chance to show their parents the exercises they did and learnt throughout the course.  The program was a huge success and will be starting back again in the fall of 2014.

Another “wow” Wednesday
Our last ‘Community Wednesday’ of the school year was held at St. Willibrord School & CLC in early May. Here are a few of the highlites: 350 guests came through the doors, 220 spaghetti dinners were served, over 30 community groups were on-site, 27 bicycles were tuned up free of charge, 25 parents attended the CSSS parenting workshop, several guests took their photo in our “favourite healthy snack and sport” photo booth and the Irish dancers entertained the crowd once again. This was our 33rd Community Wednesday over the last five years (held in seven different schools). Thank you to all our partners involved in this community project and stay tuned for news about next year’s ‘Community Wednesday’ schedule in the coming months.

Hip hop hooray
Chateauguay CLC hip hop courses at St. Willibrord have finished up for another season. Instructor, Amanda Byne and her hip hop crew performed a great show for the parents. The young dance troop even had their parents up and dancing!

Let the gardening begin!
Samantha DeSouza, St. Willibrord youth worker, is working with a small group of students on the school’s garden. Spring started late this year but this did not stop these young green thumb enthusiasts from cleaning out the garden boxes, placing fresh soil in and start planting new fruits and vegetables. Crossroads Camp summer camp will continue to maintain the garden throughout the summer.

Alaskan adventure
St.Willibrord’s Grade 2 class visited the Alaska SeaLife Center by using their video conference system. The students explored the waters, learned about the different types of animals, their habitat and what they like to eat. This “VC” was a great way to tie up what the students were learning in their science class this year.

Hemmingford opens its doors
The Chateauguay Valley Community Learning Centre (CLC) was invited to participate at the Hemmingford Elementary Open House. The school opened their doors on the last Wednesday in April from 5-7 pm inviting families and friends to see all the action going on in the school. The “CLC” was asked to display different projects which have been done in the school. The open house was a success with exploding volcanos, the La Caisse Desjardins, local firemen, the student choir, dances and much more. It was a great evening and our CLC was glad to be a part of the fun!

GAULT = Great Gardeners!
In order to prepare the kids for the Community garden project, Gault Institute’s Grade 3 teacher: Anick Leclercand her students participated in a free workshop on seedlings (atelier de semis) given by PRAQ (Pour un réseau actif dans nos quartiers). The girls and boys loved this gardening experience!

Gault then teamed up with the Horticulture program and teacher Denise Chavez from HAECC as Cycle 1-2 students planted some plants, vegetables and flower seeds donated and brought from the HAECC greenhouse. Throw in eight donated cedar garden boxes which were graciously built by parent volunteer Sylvain Moise and a donation from community partner Vie En Forme (Quebec En Forme) and you have a community garden that is the talk of the town.

Gault’s Grade 2-3 students also did the ‘Virtual Victory Garden Tour’ video conference, with the National WWII Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana). Students learned gardening tips in order to make healthy choices and establish good eating habits.

Take a Spin on the wild side
Spin classes at the Huntingdon Adult Education and community centre (HAECC) officially started at the beginning of May. With their class full at 90% capacity, as community members work up a sweat each week while trying to keep up with the instructor.  The classes will run every Thursday until the end of June, and we may even open another class. Give a call to Jayme (450-264-9276) if you are interested in trying it out.

Community Garden in Huntingdon sprouts
The garden has been planted!  Heritage Elementary has joined forces with the Table Security Alimentaire in the Haut Saint Laurent & Jeunesse Rural en Forme to have a community garden in the Huntingdon area. The garden is located right beside Heritage Elementary behind the Huntingdon Town hall. Student from the Horticulture program at HAECC helped Grades 1-4 plan and plant their section of the garden. In time we will hopefully be able to pick cucumbers, peppers, melon, corn, tomatoes and many other interested plants and vegetables. Over the summer the garden will be looked after by the Huntingdon day camp as well as students and families from Heritage & the community. Other sections of the garden will be rented out to families & community members who do not have a back yard or space for a garden. Come check out the garden and while your there don’t forget to weed and water from the community garden section! (hint: the boxes)

Training in our area
Twelve people from our local communities participated in a MAPAQ Food Safety & Handling Course during May at CVR.  Through a partnership between the CVR CLC and “Jeunesse Rurale En Forme’ (Quebec En Forme) registration costs were covered for four CVR staff members to also participate.

O.E.S. connects with the past
Through a provincial CLC grant, O.E.S. Grade 3 & 4 classes were able to increase their knowledge of aboriginal culture through two different activities. Teachers Emilie McCaig & Joy Palmer and their students were able to participate in a KAIROS Youth Blanket Activity.  This activity took the students back to the northern part of Turtle Island, or what we now know as Canada before the arrival of European settlers. Students represented the indigenous people that lived and thrived over the lands (land represented by the blankets). Then students were shocked about how the land was gradually taken away (blankets now represented the lands which were taken away).

After the exercise the students were able to visit Droulers-Tsiionhiakwatha archaeological interpretation center to take a tour of what it was like to be part of the first settlement in our region. They visited the longhouses, learned about how the people lived and had amazing educational and enlightening excursion.

Eight students participated in the first CLC First Aid & CPR course offered at CVR.  Students successfully completed the six hour course and will be receiving their Heart & Stroke Foundation certification. (video:

Valley Students Recognized by community
Over 23 students from the NFSB were recognized by the community in five different categories for this year’s Community Rural Youth Gala on May 28th at the Recreation Centre in St. Antoine-Abbe. Top winners from CVR were: Vanessa Duheme in the Healthy Living Habits category for taking the initiative to take her life and adopt a more healthy lifestyle while having a positive influence on her peers. Not an easy challenge! Isabelle Ann Seguin in the School & Social Perseverance Category as even though she has struggled she never gave up. With her persistance she has seen a huge positive change both academically and socially. Keep up the good work! Congratulations to Laury-Anne Bolduc who received an “Honorary Mention” for her academic and social perserverance and continued volunteerism in her school and community despite many obstacles. Congratulations to the above winners and all the other nominees. We are proud of all of you! (Info-Suroit:


Previous: What’s new CLC wrap-up!

– Chat with an Olympian, record student attendance, pen pals from Ghana, Montreal Impact kick it with our students (April)

– Alouettes share stories, health initiatives and nominate a deserving young person from your region and more. (March)

– Student made bobsleighs, Dr. Seuss, new spin bikes and more… (February)

– Student led-video conferencing, virtual trip to Alaska, skating rink in the school yard & much more. (January)

– CPS Community Wednesday, Vision now on-line, raising funds for the run and much more – (October)

‘Community Learning Centres’ are partnerships that provide a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of learners, their families, and the wider community. Their aim is to support the holistic development of citizens and communities.

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