We all know that children are the heartbeat of any community. Bursting with enthusiasm, they see the world through a lens richly textured with imagination and ripe with possibilities. With that in mind we created the Creative Kids Special Supplement.
The project started when The Suburban newspaper’s Associate Publisher Oliver Sutton, and Sales Director Amanda Lavigne, with the help of Beaconsfield High School Grade 7 teachers Maria Lanzetta and Krystyna Zaitouni, made a presentation to all of the school’s Grade 7 classes about the importance of local businesses and how they use advertisements to promote themselves. Then, the students were given the opportunity to show their creative colours by collaborating with our advertisers to design their ads — all of which would be printed in this special section and distributed in the West Island.
“This contest really marries the creative energy of high school students, the power of art, healthy competition and the importance our local businesses have in our community,” says Sutton. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Participating advertisers provided The Suburban with their business logo and an idea of what they would like to see in their ad. The advertisers were then divided among the students, whose final submissions had to be hand-drawn.
“We really wanted to level the playing field,” explains Sutton. “Not every student has access to drawing-specific computer software but everyone can have fun with paper, pen, paint, marker — whatever and wherever their creative spirit takes them.”
Once the ads were completed, the advertisers received all the entries in order to select a winner. But this contest isn’t just about the winners. “We want to showcase all the students’ efforts, so the drawings of the runners-up will be displayed in the back pages of the section. Everyone got published,” says Sutton.
“When I was approached by The Suburban, who invited my Grade 7 students to participate in the Creative Kids Contest, I was immediately drawn to this project because I wanted to teach my students the value of the printed word,” says Lanzetta. “In an age when my students receive all their information from a screen, I thought it was an important challenge for them to create something that came from their imagination, and not from a search engine. In my opinion, this project was a success. The kids were eager, excited, and very motivated to draw advertisements with pencils, crayons and markers. This, in turn, taught me that it does not matter if a child grows up in a digital world, they still enjoy using their hands to create something meaningful.”
In addition, not only will each Grade 7 class be treated to a pizza party and prizes, each student will have their artwork seen by thousands of readers.
“Parents and kids will be able to share their artwork proudly on social media, and the section itself will become a cherished keepsake,” says Lavigne, adding, “The response from the school, the students and advertisers has been great. We hope for this feature to be an annual supplement.
The Suburban would like to thank Principal Melissa Hunter, Junior VP Natasha Mentore, and Teachers’ Aide Suzanne Beauregard.