In December 2020, students in grade 4 of Mr. Eric Comtois’ class at École Saint-Joseph (Wawa) participated in a writing project. To mark the holiday season, students wrote and sent Christmas cards to Canadian soldiers posted in southern Sudan.
Returning from the Christmas break on January 6th, an unexpected email awaited the École Saint-Joseph administration team. Task Force Lieutenant Colonel Shawn Courty wrote on January 4: “I have received a series of Christmas cards for my soldiers who are deployed to southern Sudan. None of these cards had a return email address, but they indicated École Saint-Joseph. So I searched on Google for this address. If they are the students of your school, please send my email to the teacher.”
When this message was shared with Mr. Comtois and his students, it was astonishment and joy! Several email exchanges followed. Lieutenant Colonel sent a PowerPoint presentation with photos. The presentation explains his responsibilities, what the soldiers do, the weather, their transportation, the refugee camps, the people they meet, the food they bring from their homes and how to protect themselves from snakes. Everything is done with details and humor! The next step for Shawn is to establish a Skype / Facetime link to communicate with students in Wawa.
Meanwhile, Shawn communicates with the students by email and sends photos of his days. LCol Courty is an Acadian from Moncton and his wife is a teacher at École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier in Kingston. What a great lesson in life for the students! What a great generosity of time on the part of LCol Courty to find and create links with École Saint-Joseph students!
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