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The following is the text of the above article, taken from the December 24, 2002 issue of Miramichi Leader:
Here come the carollers
Eel Ground students replace concert with visits to seniors
EEL GROUND - Instead of holding a Christmas concert, students at Eel Ground opted to reach out to seniors in the community this year.
The school's administration asked the band office for the names of elders aged 75 and up so the students could draw Christmas cards for them. Then, along with the staff, the children made up Christmas packages that included cakes and cookies baked by staff and parents.
Sharon Carter, who has been involved for many years with "Living Christmas Tree" productions coached the children in the singing of English Christmas songs, while Marion Vicaire helped the students with Mi'kmaq Christmas songs.
The school contacted Mount St. Joseph and the Miramichi Senior Citizens' home and made arrangements for the students to sing at both institutions on Dec. 16.
Grades 7-8 made a bristolboard Christmas card for the Miramichi Senior Citizens' Home. Grade 6 student Tonya Patles and her sister Alyssa (grade 4) made a card for the Mount St. Joseph seniors.
After the performances, Grade four student Lily Ginnish explained the seniors' tears and smiles this way: "Maybe it made them happy when looking at us and thinking of themselves singing with their own children when they were younger. I am glad that we made them happy."
On Dec 17, the school visited the homes of the reserve's 75-and-older seniors and sang carols to them and presented the gifts and cards.
Haven't heard songs
in Mi'kmaq for 50 years
"Your songs are so beautiful. I have not heard those Christmas songs in Mi'kmaq since my parents sang them to me 50 years ago," commented Susie Barnaby after the students had visited her.
The school also sang at the North Star Lodge, where the Eel Ground elders were guests at a Christmas dinner hosted by the chief and council.
"It was so beautiful hearing all the Christmas music, but even more special hearing some of them sung un Mi'kmaq," said Clara Larry.
School principal Peter MacDonald said this:
"This has been a very special Christmas for our school. It was a rewarding and memorable experience for our seniors and to see the smiles of appreciation on their faces. It was a tremendous learning experience of giving for our children this 2002 Christmas."
Eel Ground School
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