As with each New Year, there is a reason to celebrate. Voyageur Memorial School’s students from Grade 4 to Grade 6, teachers, support staff, and special guests welcomed 2003 with the opening of the elementary school’s extension. This celebration was partially because of this new addition to the building, but mainly that all elementary students would finally be together again.

The elementary school was too small to hold all of the students from Grade 1 to Grade 6. Some classes had to move to the high school when it was built. We were split up in two schools. Brendan Coon-Come said, “I felt I was not even a part of the high school because so many big kids were around me. I was not comfortable.” “I felt that I didn’t belong to any of the schools,” expressed Mary-Jane, along with other students in the class. Finally, the plans to build an extension to the elementary school were approved and construction started in the spring. Just before Christmas, teachers and students were told to pack and get ready to move to a new class. We were so excited to start our New Year in a new school.

On January 7, 2003, all the classes from Grade 4 to Grade 6 joined in the gym with their teachers. The guest speakers included Harry Meskino, Chief John Longchap, Dorothy Nicholls (Vice-Principal), Hal Graham (Anglican Minister, Alain Bellemare (Principal), Beverly Quinn (School Commissioner), and Alfred Coonishish (C.E.A.). All addressed the students and then took part in the ribbon cutting. Outstanding students from Grade 6: Krystyna MacLeod, Patricia Mianscum, Verona Trapper, and Lisa Taylor also took part by holding the ribbon. Following the ceremony, classes took their first tour of the new section and celebrated in class with a light lunch.

Regular classes resumed in the afternoon where students were asked for their impressions of the move to this new school. This is what some students had to say: When we went in the school, we were so excited for our new section. Everything shone new! Everything was so incredibly perfect! We are honoured. We are sure everybody feels that way. Everyone likes their new classrooms. Our class has a better view here of the track-and-field, the lake, and the community. In this school, there are no disruptions like the ones we had at the high school. Jerica Jolly says, “I feel good and excited that I moved to a new school.” We like that we have new furniture and bigger hallways. “Amazingly,

I think it changed students attitudes toward school! Now we can start our own activities because we feel like a part of a school,” exclaims Alexandria MacLeod. In the new extension, we have a new computer lab with new computers and even a library. We are all so proud of our new school.

We feel excited because we are in our new extension. It is also more comfortable because we are the same age students. We finally belong to a school and feel like elementary students.

This article is a collaborative effort by all students in Grade 6 E (Kimberly Quinn’s class): Jessica Chewanish-Longchap, Brendan Coon-Come, Georgina Coonishish, Stacey-Ann Coonishish, Tyler Coonishish, Carla Iserhoff, Jerica Jolly, Alexandria MacLeod, Krystyna MacLeod, Natasha Mattawahish, Andrea Mianscum, Gordon Mianscum, Kitty Neeposh, Mary-Jane Petawabano, and Jordan Shecapio.