Ella Burrow-Weber, left, Mackenzie Clarke and Irene Gagnon lead the publicity side of 12 Days of Christmas. MIKE YOUDS PHOTO

The 12 Days of Christmas

Grade 5/6 students in Port Alberni learn through leadership

MIKE YOUDS

Special to the News

An Alberni elementary class discovered the recipe for a successful community fundraiser this month, rising to the challenge of organizing an event called 12 Days of Christmas.

This is the second year Alberni Elementary has held the fundraiser for Bread of Life Centre in support of the faith-based ministry’s annual Christmas Day free dinner.

The difference this time is that a class of Grade 5/6 late French immersion students was in charge of the two events involved, a bake sale and popcorn sale.

Their teacher, Jeff Bordal, said the fundraiser is intended to develop the students’ leadership skills as they assume responsibility for various tasks such as promotion and preparation.

“This year we opened it up,” said Bordal, who organized the effort last year. “It was their idea.”

The two-year late French immersion program is designed to accommodate intermediate students who can benefit from the additional challenge, he explained.

“You have at least two years of a booster shot of French,” he said.

“For the most part we have motivated students, students who need extra challenges.”

All advertising, of course, must be in their second language, French, as well as English. The students busily handcrafted posters to splash around the school.

“We’re going to send out a newsletter,” said Irene Gagnon, part of the trio leading the publicity side of the fundraiser.

Another team organized the popcorn side of the fundraiser, using a school popping machine to prepare $2 bags for the school’s Holiday Movie Day on Dec. 18.

With about 400 students at the school as potential buyers, student co-organizer Nathan Zvonar figures they should be able to raise a lot of money for the Bread of Life, especially if kids buy more than one bag.

Registration is underway for late French immersion program’s next intake, Bordal noted.

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