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Investing in the Future

Canada’s future lies with the next generation of young Canadians, who will be joined by immigrants from many cultures to run our businesses, manage our government and ensure that the society we live in is … Canadian.

Today we all lead busy lives, running from job to home etc. We all get the opportunity to influence that next generation of Canadians, either as parents, role models, teachers or in many other traditional ways and sometimes we don’t take those opportunities, and sometimes we do.

Sometimes we restrict the creativity of that next generation with OUR ideals, OUR thoughts on what their future should be and OUR ways of doing things. In general terms teaching them based on our experiences is a good thing … but there also needs to be the ability for young people to express themselves and to have their own dreams and ambitions.

Each year Eagle sponsors the Young Authors and Illustrators Conference in Ottawa, and 600 kids each get to spend a day with professional writers and illustrators, learning about their crafts. These are children who applied to go, they really WANTED to be there so they just “eat up” the day and if you want to see well behaved, intelligent and engaged students this a great event to see! These are kids who love to read and to draw and yet this event is unique in the opportunity it provides them.

I write about this event each year because it is one of those events that helps to keep me grounded, reminds me about what is important in life and reminds me about the pure joy that we can all have when doing something we love.

The participants all write me a card at the end of their day … to thank Eagle for helping make the day happen and to persuade me to keep doing it! Here are just a few of this year’s cards, written by children in grades 4 to 8.

Claire wrote the following note, and added some nice illustrations too …

“Dear Kevin Dee,

Thank you for making this event possible. I had so much fun: writing, drawing. I will remember this event for ever. I have learned so many new things about writing and drawing. Thanks again!”

Bethany wrote a nice note finishing with … “Thanks a million, I am so glad I decided to come!!!”

Julia… “had a wonderful time”.

Connor is very sad … “that this is the last year I can come”.

Izzi thanked me for funding a … “day that helps me to become a better writer”.

There are always opportunities to make a difference in the lives of this next generation … if we take those opportunities to provide positive experiences then we are investing in the future. That’s pretty cool.

No doubt Eagle will be sponsoring this event again next year.