Bonhomme — all the way from La Belle Province — was the guest of honour at La Carnaval D’hiver at École TM Roberts Elementary School in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy Carissa Hart

Bonhomme — all the way from La Belle Province — was the guest of honour at La Carnaval D’hiver at École TM Roberts Elementary School in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy Carissa Hart

COTR Education Students host Winter Carnival for TM Roberts School

La Carnaval d’hiver is a tradition in Quebec City that is over 400 years old. And on February 22, 2021 some of the Education students from the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook brought the winter celebration to École TM Roberts School.

Students enjoyed circus tricks, sled relays, ice decorating and other fun activities during the morning activity.

Organizing a winter festival during Covid times presented some challenges, but did not deter the team from moving ahead. Sandi Lavery (Faculty, U of Vic) met via zoom call with the administration of École TM Roberts and came up with the framework for the day. She and her team of COTR students then met virtually and planned activities, challenges and Covid friendly games for the students.

“COVID-19 adds a different element to planning because there are so many activities and teaching strategies that involve students working collaboratively, in close proximity and with equipment,” said Teacher education student Anna Ruoss. “We had to consider how we organized the space and sanitization between each activity. The best part of the day was seeing the eagerness of the students to participate. Despite the wet and windy weather, they leaped into activities with huge smiles on their faces.”

Students rotated around eight different activity stations in their cohorts and while this year did not include French Canadian folk dancing or eating of la tire on snow, Bonhomme joined us all the way from La Belle Province!

Organizing a winter carnival in Cranbrook posed challenges, including the need to reschedule the first date due to the frigid temperatures, but the carnival went ahead on February 22, where we the students navigated with skill, the rain and melting ice puddles! Michelle Sartorel, École TM Robert’s principal was so grateful that the COTR students were willing to volunteer their morning with us and sends out a plus grande merci beaucoup pour la carnival d’hiver.

“Sandi Lavery and her students provided a fun, cultural experience for our students and with great teamwork we successfully navigated the protocols and challenges of Covid and we remained determined to see an awesome end result!”

Koloe Smith, grade 5 student at TM said, “It was really fun, well thought out and you could tell a lot of work went into organizing it. It was a memorable day.” Layla Murdoch, grade 2 student said, “It was a fun day, the Bonhomme was very tall and funny.”

TM Roberts is Cranbrook’s only dual-track French Immersion school with an enrollment of 350. Registration for Kindergarten in both French and English 2021 is now open.

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