Francis H. Clergue Grade 3 teacher Debbie McLean has been involved in the Write To Give program for 3 years. This is a program that encourages elementary students to become authors while giving back to children in developing countries. Every year, Write to Give chooses one book to be printed by Scholastic Education – and this year FH Clergue wrote the winning book! Many of the young authors were present at Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting to read aloud the award-winning book.
Titled “The Warrior”, it is written in memory of a local young boy, a friend to many at FH Clergue. The story is told through the eyes of one student who is able to inspire children to never stop believing in themselves even when times are tough. The courageous battle in the story shows one boy’s struggle and how he influences his peers to fight and overcome hardships. The dedication says it best, “…in memory of a true little warrior, Taten Hammerberg, who fought each day to show the true meaning of courage. His fight and determination will always be remembered. With love from all your ‘warriors’.”
The writing and illustrating of the book was shared amongst six Grade 3 classes at FH Clergue. Each classroom took on an important element of the story. Mrs. McLean’s class of 18 began the process by determining who the characters would be and where the story would take place. Mrs. Phillips’ class (20 students) had to come up with a “problem” to be dealt with in the story. Mrs. Marengere’s class of 19 students helped to determine the solution to the problem and wrote about that. The ending of the story was written by 34 students in two classes, Mrs. LeClair’s and Mrs. Orlando’s. Illustrations were contributed by 19 students in Mrs. Fecteau’s class with help from Peer Leader Sammi Dechamplain, a Grade 6 student at Rosedale Public School.
Mrs McLean spoke highly of the benefits of the program in her presentation to Trustees. Over the course of the writing project, Grade 3 students, along with their teachers, learned about the African culture. This is due to Write to Give’s mandate which is to donate proceeds from the sale of the book to World Teacher Aid. Write to Give has donated over $47,000 to help build schools, programs, and sustainable food programs in Kenya and Ghana, Africa. Students also took part in simulcasts with published authors and illustrators.
Already over 260 copies of “The Warrior” have been sold. With $10 from the sale of each $15 book going towards programs in Africa, the school is very pleased and proud of their contribution. Mrs. McLean encouraged those interested in more information to visit www.writetogive.com and/or www.worldteacheraid.org or search those titles to see footage of the schools and students touched by this initiative.