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West Kildonan Collegiate celebrates students

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As the school year draws to a close, West Kildonan Collegiate continues to celebrate student achievement.

On Weds., April 20, I attended the launch of West Kildonan Collegiate’s Literary Anthology, Spark. Despite the rainy weather, the room at McNally Robinson was filled.

Spark celebrates students’ creative writing and includes selections of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Destiny Oliveira, the hostess for the evening, introduced Spark as a collection that "showcases the creativity, imagination and originality of students, in the hopes of giving voice to the writers who so often go unrecognized."

She also emphasized the fact that the magazine is student-based. The ideas, submissions, and selection of pieces were done by students.

During the evening, 15 students read from their writings. As a retired English teacher, I was impressed by their eloquence, and the beauty of their writings.

After the readings, I spoke to several students about their experiences. Ian Ingram is a Grade 12 student who wrote the poem, forgetful.

Ian usually writes song lyrics, but wrote this poem after a breakup. He said that it helped him express his feelings during this time.

I also spoke to Marini Tagarda, a Grade 9 student, about her poem, Not Coming Back. The poem was inspired by the death of Marini’s grandfather. She was close to her grandfather, and wrote the poem to express her pain. Although she found the reading nerve wracking, Marini was happy to share her poem, and happy that people could relate to her experience.

Erin Andrushuk, a Grade 10 student, read from her poem, Technology, which expresses her mixed feelings about how our lives are inundated by technology. Her participation in the anthology taught her that good writing requires "lots of copies."

Shaena Oberick, the teacher advisor for Spark is thrilled "to see the writers demonstrate courage to share their writing, and to see the project grow."

She said there was a significant increase in the number of submissions this year, which, "indicates that students are embracing the opportunity to see their work in print."

Shaena sees the launch as an opportunity for publication and celebration."

Spark is available for purchase at McNally Robinson.

West Kildonan will celebrate graduates at Seven Oaks 5th Annual POW Wow. It will be held Thursday, June 5, and will include All Nations, a community feast, grand entry, dancers, singers, and a pipe ceremony. For more information, contact Janice Hill at 204 339-6959.

Bravo to West Kildonan for celebrating students’ success.

Joanne O’Leary is a community correspondent for Riverbend.

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