On April 12, 2012, a celebration was held for the volunteers of the “Centre de services à la famille” (Family Services Centre) in Ottawa. A fantastic team organised a family evening for the children in the program “Grands-parents à l’écoute-Parcours lecture”. (Grandparents, listening through reading)
The secondary students were the hosts and hostesses throughout the evening. With ‘savoir-faire’ they warmly welcomed their younger sisters and brothers. The children, accompanied by their families, were perfectly happy.
During the dinner, a certificate was presented to each child. It highlighted 3 objectives: a decrease in the rate of absenteeism, improvement in reading and beginning to participate in school activities. These children had improved in self-confidence as they developed a taste for reading and for school.
Kudos to the 129 volunteers of the “Grands-parents à l’écoute” Program! The unfailing support which they give to these children, who experience emotional and intellectual difficulties, makes all the difference in their lives.
During the handing out of the certificates, I was touched by the expressions on the faces of the children. It was a look which manifested on one hand, God’s Joy when a child discovers that he/she has self-worth, that he/she is valuable. On the other hand, I read in their look, God’s sadness at the sight of these children who are victims of a world in which those who are the strongest do not protect those who are the weakest.
And what can be said about the parents’ look of contentment? Many expressed: “It is the first time that my child has been congratulated.”
After dinner, the students from the secondary level began the show in style. When the children from the primary level took to the stage, they demonstrated discipline as they displayed their artistic and musical talent. These children, who were so proud of themselves and of their presentation, made their parents and their teachers proud of them too.
What an unforgettable evening for the 220 volunteers of the Center!
Sister Micheline Beaulne, S.N.J.M.
Directress of the Center