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Lire à Parc-Ex

Local kids publish a new magazine that puts Park Ex front and centre

The magazine called Lire à Parc-Ex, highlights the neighbourhood in a bid to encourage local primary students to read and write over the summer months. Photo: Park Extension Library

Local kids and the Park Extension Reading Committee, in collaboration with Barclay and Barthélémy-Vimont elementary schools, recently released a brand-new magazine highlighting the writing, photography and artwork of local children.

The magazine, called Lire à Parc-Ex, highlights the neighbourhood in a bid to encourage local primary students to read and write over the summer months. The magazine includes articles on some favourite local spots in Park Extension, along with descriptions, photos and drawings. 

“We created and printed an activity book in 2020 to encourage children during the summer and help combat the “summer slide”, a phenomenon related to extended school breaks that leads to a decline in learning for children who read little to nothing during the summer,” read a statement published by the Park Extension Reading Committee.

“This project is very important to us because we believe that it highlights places in Park Extension in a unique way: through the eyes of the young people who live there, most of whom are immigrants,” continued the statement. 

“This project is very important to us because we believe that it highlights places in Park Extension in a unique way: through the eyes of the young people who live there, most of whom are immigrants,”

Showcasing Park Ex

The magazine showcases Park Extension and a variety of its sites and destinations, all through the eyes of the local children that explore them daily. These include local parks, stores, restaurants, schools and places of worship. 

“To continue to motivate young people to read, we developed a magazine written by children in collaboration with Barclay and Barthélémy-Vimont elementary schools in 2021 about the Park Extension neighbourhood,” said Catherine Roy of the Park Extension Library.  

The magazine was made possible by several community organizations such as Afrique au féminin, CHAISCoalition jeunesse de Parc-Extension and the Park Extension Library.

“Our goal was to allow children to read their own texts and those of their peers in an inviting, colourful and fun publication that would make them proud of themselves,” added the statement. The magazine and the children’s texts are organized by themes, like Jarry Park and Saint-Roch Pool and are accompanied by additional information and fun facts. 

Kids wrote on all things Park Extension, including parks, restaurants, stores and places of worship.

Young writers front and centre

Although Park Extension is small, there is still so much to see and do in this neighbourhood and what better way to discover it than through the eyes of local kids. In the magazine, the young authors highlight their favourite spots in Park Ex and the reasons why they like them.

“In Liège Park, there are a lot of games. There is a basketball court to play on. There are a lot of people having picnics. Liège Park is very big, you can play soccer and baseball on the playgrounds. There are trees and benches to sit on. I like to play baseball in the park. There are also water games to play in the summer.” wrote Rajbit Singh, Raghib Hasin and Makirat Singh of École Barclay.

“I love going to Howard Park. I play a lot, I like to go and play ball, to slide and climb, I love Howard Park,” wrote Hureesa Khan of École Barclay. 

Other sections included students’ favourite local businesses, including Dollarama, Brault & Bouthillier and Cinémas Guzzo. “I like the Cinémas Guzzo because you can do a lot of activities and you can see a movie and have fun,” said Josephine Césarina Mbock from Barthelemy-Vimont School

Warm reception

At a virtual event held on Feb. 23, organizers and teachers gathered to launch the first edition of the new magazine. They congratulated students for their great work as young journalists and photographers. 

Initially set to be a digital-only publication, external funding provided by local MNA Andrés Fontecilla allowed the group to print a limited run of physical copies that were distributed to both the children and the schools they attend. 

In attendance were Rose Ngo Ndjel of Afrique au féminin, Suzette Brutus of CHAIS, Ghislaine Paiement from Barthélemy-Vimont and Barclay schools as well as Park Extension City Councillor Mary Deros. 

“Congratulations, Rose, Suzette and all the participants for this beautiful work with all the children,” said Deros, adding that she wanted to donate $500 to $600 of her discretionary fund for the next edition. “We have always supported neighbourhood projects,” she added. 

Organizers and teachers gathered virtually on Feb. 23 to launch the first edition of the new magazine. Photo via Zoom