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Experience, efforts rewarded for three Coquitlam students at national Francophone competition

Two Banting Middle students and one from Citadel Middle earned bursaries for their French-language speaking skills and a donation was matched to the non-profit of their choosing.

A national competition has awarded three Tri-City students for their French-language abilities.

Two Coquitlam girls and a Port Coquitlam boy were recognized as winners by the Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon (CPF) last month after they submitted entries for the second annual Concours Virtuel.

The event allows students as young as Kindergarten to showcase their French knowledge and video skills by preparing a speech on a particular topic they're passionate about.

Middle and secondary students — if selected by a panel of judges — earn cash bursaries as well as a matched donation for a charity of their choice.

According to CPF, more than 360 students across Canada participated in the virtual showcase.

This was the second year of Concours Virtuel; it was meant to be an in-person competition when it was created in spring 2020, but moved online resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In their videos, students shared many ways their lives were impacted by COVID-19," the CPF explains.

"Some confided their anxieties about the pandemic, or how disappointed they were by the cancellation of events and trips they’d been looking forward to. Many shared positive stories of making the best of the lockdown, and encouraged their peers to keep their spirits up during this difficult time. Their entries showcased an impressive array of skills students had practiced during lockdown: cooking, baking, painting, dance, music, exercise, gardening, and much more. Many were also helping their communities, from doing chores around their home, to sewing face masks for front-line workers and volunteering at food banks."

Klara Nevrtalova's entry took home the top prize in the Francophone 8 category, the top division for a Grade Eight French-language class and spoke about the importance of education in developing countries.

She earned a cool $200, while fellow Banting Middle student Daniella Shephard won $100 after claiming second place in the Early French Immersion 8 category.

Port Coquitlam's Jason Zimmermann — who attends Citadel Middle — also cashed in $100 for his 'B' division of Early French Immersion 7.

"We’re so proud of the quality of French that students showcased in their Concours virtuel videos, and of the spirit they shared," adds the CPF in an email to Tri-City News.

You can view and listen to all three students in their video submissions below — in French.




You can click here to view his video.