With summer finally here, it seems brighter days are ahead of us. The midpoint of summer break often presents an opportunity to reflect on the growth during the last school year and look towards a more hopeful future.

With summer finally here, it seems brighter days are ahead of us. The midpoint of summer break often presents an opportunity to reflect on the growth during the last school year and look towards a more hopeful future.

We should congratulate all our students on the many ways they’ve learned to navigate the challenges they faced. They’ve had to adjust between in-person learning and remote classes, along with the immense disruption this brought to their everyday lives.

Like so many of you, I’ve seen firsthand as a parent the resilience and maturity of our children, the support of our families, and the dedication of our exceptional teachers.

Earlier this year, Seven Oaks School Division Supt. Brian O’ Leary and I were discussing the tremendous and inspiring strength students, teachers, and parents have shown during the pandemic.

We felt it would be important to create a space where students could share what they were feeling. The idea of an anthology titled Apart, Yet Together was born.

This was a collaborative project between me, Seven Oaks School Division and the True North Youth Foundation’s Project 11 to create a book filled with beautiful writing, poetry, and artwork from kindergarten to Grade 8 students in the Seven Oaks School Division. I was pleased to support this project through a Winnipeg Wellness Grant.

This wonderful initiative provided a medium for some of the youngest in our community to share their personal reflections of this unusual and unprecedented time.

Apart, Yet Together also leaves a significant legacy as it records and documents for future generations how our children perceived what was happening in their world during such a unique and unstable time in history.

I would like to thank Supt. O’Leary and SOSD divisional principal Shelley Warkentin; Suzi Friesen, director of educational programs for True North Youth Foundation; and Winnipeg Jets Player and Project 11 ambassador Bryan Little.

It was a pleasure to work with such a dynamic team. Most of all, I thank the students, whose words and images are featured in this book, for lighting a pathway that extends beyond the pandemic towards a brighter future for all of us.

Reading the pages of this anthology has left me inspired. You can find the book in school libraries and in our Winnipeg Public Libraries. I believe one of the key goals of our public library system is sharing and learning the stories of our community. Showcasing this anthology in this way aligns so beautifully with that objective.

Devi Sharma

Devi Sharma
Old Kildonan ward report

Devi Sharma is the city councillor for Old Kildonan.

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