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Thursday, December 5th, 2013 - Le Studio PURE de l'école Camille-Vautour

Le Studio PURE de l'école Camille-Vautour

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, in April, I shared with you the story of Studio PURE at the École Camille-Vautour in Saint-Antoine, New Brunswick. At that time, Studio Pure had just won the Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, in recognition for their efforts.

Last week, the provincial government announced an investment of $535,000 for francophone schools in New Brunswick to support entrepreneurial educational projects. This initiative will enable students to carry out projects that will help them develop their sense of community involvement and leadership. Students will be encouraged to develop qualities and behaviours that will benefit them for the rest of their lives: self-confidence, a sense of responsibility, leadership, creativity and cultural pride. This funding creates a structure that encourages students to further integrate in the community, with the support of educational and community partners.

So far, the Studio PURE approach has yielded excellent results. The educational outcomes are evidence of this achievement: the completion rate in mathematics has increased by 10 per cent while that in reading and French is said to have risen by 43 per cent in just two years. This is quite remarkable.

Based on this community and entrepreneurial approach, teachers develop integrated learning scenarios. Young students carry out a number of projects while following the learning content prescribed by the Department of Education. Studio PURE students created, for example, a humanitarian microenterprise to raise money for charity. They raised over $7,000 in donations for sick children. This was a great initiative.

Among the changes made by the teachers, integrating new technologies in young people's education was a major boon. Teachers Kevin and Monique used such resources as blogs, social media and YouTube to spark new energy in the classroom. During the province's Anti-Bullying Awareness Week, they put together a video to help prevent bullying. In addition, they also developed a Téléjournal, a newscast that is produced and presented by students. Clearly, they are not short of ideas.

Lastly, since winning the Ken Spencer Award, the recipients have been getting congratulatory messages from all over. Recently, the Canadian Education Association publicized the history of Studio PURE and the positive impact it has been having on students. The recipients were even visited by a delegation from Mexico who wanted to observe their activities in order to understand how they work.

Honourable senators, Studio PURE's innovative approach is definitely one of the 21st century. Through new technology and incentives for community involvement, our youth will be better prepared for the future.

Honourable senators, please join me in congratulating Kevin Ouellette and Monique Saulnier.

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