Sudbury Catholic District School Board
February 21, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action at Pius XII

Upon arriving at the classroom, invited guests were greeted by a sign welcoming them to the Pius XII Catholic Elementary School Intermediate Lifeskills class movie premiere. Students had the screen ready, and chairs set up theatre style for the start of the movie.

Since October, the students, their teacher Ginny Cristo-Long, their Educational Assistant Lynn Dubois, and vice principal Tina Timpano have been working on this class project, which was the creation of a movie that reflected upon the essential question – “What does Jesus ask of us?”

The students began the project with the selection of an individual response to this question and then had to think of a picture that would then represent their answer. The next steps for the class included the introduction of technology programs including iphoto, garageband, and imovie on macbooks. “This project really allowed the students to expand not only intellectually, and verbally, but also socially and emotionally,” Cristo stated. “The students had to pick kids from other classes and grades and invite them to be a part of their picture for the movie – it was a great experience for them to socialize and work on problem-solving skills.”

Just before the movie began, the vice principal gave a brief introduction explaining the process by which they began the project, and also let the audience know what a special group of kids these students were. “To ask these kids to come up for a response to the essential question – What does Jesus ask of us – it was an absolutely easy task for them as they are daily role models to others of exactly what Jesus does ask of us.”

The movie itself was completely interactive for the audience as once the students had presented their ideas on video such as: keep the peace, share, tell the truth, forgive, be nice to nature, respect others, etc, they then went through all of these positive attributes and encouraged the audience to follow their lead and learn the sign for these words with sign language.

The presentation ended with a standing ovation from all of the invited guests and the students were then presented with special movie star awards for their outstanding efforts. It was a very emotional presentation as it was quite evident how proud the students were of themselves, and congratulated each other with high-fives, handshakes and hugs. Upon presentation of the awards, Cristo-Long let each of her students know that “it was an absolute honour to teach each and every one of (them) and every single student involved is a superstar!” Rossella Bagnato, Superintendent with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board was on hand for the movie screening and was visibly touched by the entire presentation. “This video was proof of the exceptional learning environment in this classroom,” Bagnato said. “We are never surprised by what our students and staff can accomplish, but we are always deeply moved. The staff is outstanding for providing students with the opportunity to flourish at their own unique rate.”

After the presentation of awards, the invited guests were treated to lunch with the students and staff. The group was then informed that this presentation was actually an advanced screening and will be officially presented to the entire school, parents and families during Catholic Education Week which runs from May 6-10, 2013.

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