An exciting start to the school year for Lake Cowichan students

Evan Croteau shares events from Lake Cowichan School.

Although the 2014 school year had begun a few weeks behind, LCS has certainly made up for lost time. Within a month, a host of fun events have taken place here, and there are more to come, as well.

At the end of September, just a week after classes resumed, Tour de Rock arrived at the school, and were greeted with such enthusiasm that they had proclaimed LCS as the most welcoming of all the schools on the island that they had visited!

Tour de Rock is a cancer awareness group that bicycles down the length of the island every autumn to visit schools and raise funds to go toward cancer research. LCS, as well as other people and groups in the community, raise thousands of dollars for Tour de Rock every year, by donating money, organizing hot dog sales, shaving heads, and, more recently, even the waxing of teachers’ legs!

Smaller events have been taking place here at Lake Cowichan School, as well. Just two Wednesdays ago, the school hosted Pajama Day, which always proves to be visually interesting. In the past, Pajama Day mostly consisted of people wearing pajama bottoms to school rather than pants, but, especially since the rise of the “onezie” craze back in 2012, students can now be seen sporting full-body pajamas, usually made to look like an animal or a cartoon character, such as a zebra, lion, Totoro, or even Batman! Fun days, such as Pajama Day, are organized by the school’s hard working leadership students, from grades ten through twelve.

Many of our LCS students have been or are involved in Lake Cowichan’s sister city exchange program. Next year, ten youth living in the Cowichan Lake Region (nine from LCS) will be participating in the exchange, and will be going to Ohtaki, Japan, in July, 2015. As part of the exchange, students from both countries come to visit each other’s communities, and just this month, we had twenty students, as well as six delegates and a translator, come to visit our town from Japan. The students stayed at the homes of various community members, some of which were the homes of the families whose children are going to Japan next year. During their stay, the students visited many of Vancouver Island’s landmarks, including the world famous murals of Chemainus, as well as the world’s largest hockey stick in Duncan. On their last full day in Lake Cowichan, the Japanese delegation came to visit LCS, and was welcomed with a game of bench ball. The Japanese students also got to meet their Canadian pen pals, whom they have been writing to for the past year, which was followed by the telling of a First Nations legend, after which traditional bannock was served for the members of both the Canadian and Japanese delegations. As in the past months, make sure to be aware of more fundraisers so you can help support the Japanese exchange program, as it teaches local youth the importance of culture, as well as creating lifelong friendships that can span across the globe.

–submitted by Evan Croteau