École Sophie-Morigeau (ÉSM) students light up with excitement as they enjoyed zorbing and trampoline bungee jumping at Max Turyk School. But the fun and games came at a price, as the 15 ÉSM students competed against 137 other schools, dominating in the Lève-toi et Bouge challenge, also known as the Get Up & Move challenge.
“It was almost surreal; I just couldn’t believe that such a little school, in their second year of being open, won such a huge award and [are] being recognized for it,” Social Cultural Coordinator and Grade 5 French emersion teacher at Isabella Dicken Jennifer Hryhiw said.
The contest required students to gain cubes of energy, with students and student’s family members receiving one cube after 15 minutes of physical activity. After only a few months, EMS received 472 cubes, which was more than double the minimum score required for consideration in the competition.
“We really like to see the kids being active and we think that it helps them learn; it helps them develop healthy attitudes about everything in their life,” Hryhiw said. “I think that you can spend a lot of time sitting at your desk and I think that in the curriculum in British Columbia, we really encourage daily physical activity.”
ÉSM students graciously shared their grand prize, a carnival hosted by Le Grand défi Pierre Lavoie organization, with the Grade 4, 5 and 6 French immersion classes from Isabella Dicken.
“[The] team, travelled from Quebec to Fernie to give them this award that is centered around healthy lifestyles, having fun, nutrition, eating right … [it’s] all about being healthy and active,” Hryhiw noted.
ÉSM secretary and Francophone Association of the Southern Rockies (AFROS) Vice-Présidente Nathalie Perrault added, “It’s pretty important for them to celebrate.”
She went on to say, “It’s pretty cool that we’re a new school and that we got [the award], because some schools wait years and years to get it.”
Perrault noted that celebrating their success last Thursday was a great way to show students that French can be fun and cool, and that there are several advantages to speaking French.
Hryhiw reiterated Perrault’s thoughts, stating, “There’s a lot of opportunities in our small town to experience French and to have fun in French. Fernie’s a beautiful town.”