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École élémentaire catholique Saint-Joseph d’Orléans awarded $3,000 for its Genius Hour project

January 17, 2017, OTTAWA – École élémentaire catholique Saint-Joseph d’Orléans is one of the 7 Ontario schools chosen as recipients of the #DesjardinsFoundation Prize, awarded for an innovative project aimed at educational and community stakeholders. Thanks to a $3,000 donation from Desjardins financial group, 275 children from École Saint-Joseph d’Orléans will be able to develop their passions through the Genius Hour project.                                                                                                      

The project, whose slogan is Pensons Passions (Where Passions Come Alive), allows students in grades 1 through 6 to come together in small groups for an hour a week to work on a topic they’re passionate about.

Launched in spring 2016, the project began with a consultation between staff and students to identify the fields they were interested in. A dozen major themes emerged, allowing groups of students to be formed. Whether they share an interest in robotics, the culinary arts, the environment, community, construction, dance, or other areas, students will have the chance to get together every week to conduct research and develop a project based on their passion.

“I think it’s wonderful that the students will have an opportunity to learn about topics that stimulate their interest. By working on projects they’re passionate about, research shows that students are more motivated and engaged in their education,” said Réjean Sirois, Director of Education of the CECCE. “I would also like to thank the school staff for their commitment and dedication to the students. Moreover, the $3,000 received from the #DesjardinsFoundation Prize will help École élémentaire catholique Saint-Joseph d’Orléans buy teaching materials to make it easier for students to do research and learn during their weekly Genius Hour session.”

​CECCE Chair, Johanne Lacombe, was also enthusiastic about the news. “I was pleased to learn that École élémentaire catholique Saint-Joseph d’Orléans was getting funds to support its innovative teaching initiative. The students’ excitement around this project really shows how it can be more fun to learn and easier to succeed when education meets passion.”

School principal, Stéphane Bergeron, has also been very satisfied with the project’s positive impact on the students, who seem more involved, more interested, and more motivated in their learning. Moreover, they will also have a chance to present the results of their research and work to their classmates and the school community at the school’s open house on Friday, May 5, 2017. He hastened to add, “This project was made possible through the exceptional cooperation between the school team, and the outstanding work of the school’s ‘lead’ teachers. Becoming a lifelong learner is the heart and soul of the Genius Hour project.”

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