Grade 6 students in local elementary schools were eager to hear the results of the Lions Club International Peace Poster contest recently. Since 1988, the Lions Club has asked children aged 11 to 13 to create a poster that defines peace. This year’s title was Lead with Compassion. Children were asked to share their vison and express what this meant to them via a drawing without words. Valley schools took up the challenge.
Ormstown Elementary, Franklin Elementary, École Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, École Notre-Dame de l’Assomption in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, and École Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague all submitted posters created by their students on the peace theme. “Teachers integrate the poster contest into their curriculum,” reports Pamela Mulderrig, a Lions Club member. Mulderrig visits schools each year to present the contest rules and the annual theme to students and teachers. “The theme is always under the umbrella of peace,” she says.
The finished posters are evaluated by a panel of judges; then the winners can proceed from the district level to provincial, federal, and international competition. Winners receive some money, but their real hope is to win the grand prize of recognition at the United Nations. Every year, 600,000 children from 75 countries participate in the contest.
Ormstown Elementary student Genesis Demers is this year’s first-prize winner at the district level. Oakley Macfarlane of Franklin Elementary and Geoffrey Renaud of Ormstown Elementary placed second. Third-place winners are Melanie Roy Cutler from Notre Dame du Rosaire, Dylan Boudreau from Ormstown Elementary, and Mackensie Clark from Ormstown Elementary.
13 students won school participation prizes and honourable mentions. All local poster entries will be on display in February at the Ormstown Recreation Centre.
When asked to explain the vision of peace she expressed in her poster, first-place winner Demers said, “Having compassion for someone is amazing. It will travel through space to infinity.”