Grade 8 students Ella, Rachael, Liora B., and Liora K. share this week’s Student Scene at Heschel. They explain the fun and games of our school’s first ever Awe and Wonderland Festival, organized by Grade 8 students and teachers to unite the community.

The Festival du Voyageur is a 10-day winter festival held in Winnipeg, Manitoba each year. Georges Forest, the first official “Voyageur” in 1967, offered the concept of a winter event to honour Manitoba’s Francophonie and it has been a valued festival ever since. This festival honours Canada’s fur-trading heritage, as well as its unique French heritage and culture, through arts and crafts, entertainment, music, and displays. The event, which takes place every February in Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg’s French section, is Western Canada’s largest winter celebration, usually bringing in just under 100,000 people. 

This past week, JK-Grade 8 students participated in the very first Toronto Heschel School “Awe and Wonderland Festival,” planned by the Grade 8 students and teachers! Every day, a different team comprising two different classes made snow sculptures, ran an obstacle course, and pulled each other in sled races.

Grade 8 students interviewed some of the kids to hear what they had to say. The JK’s loved the obstacle course, particularly, as a little girl named Amira said, “running around in the snow.” They were all super excited to be on a team with Grade 8s and make new big kid friends!

Grade 1 students were so happy to be outside with their Grade 6 friends; as Joey said: “They’re my favourite grade!” They enjoyed being active and being able to run, pull each other and, as Rowan stated, “cartwheel through the obstacles.” Grade 2 students built mountains made from snow and loved being out in the snow all morning with their friends. Grade 8 student Amity was hoping to win, but was still happy when his team lost, because it’s about having fun, not winning.

The Grade 4’s loved building their snow sculptures, and they also loved the obstacle course because of how challenging it was and that it required them to work as a team to win. Grade 6 students were very confident in their teams and were positive that they would beat every other team; they were so excited to cheer on their Grade 1 teammates. Grade 6 teachers even participated in the sled races! After the activities were over, the students were able to all enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with their classmates.