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DID YOU CATCH THIS: Kids excited to create

Langley Advance Times’ Design An Ad program fosters student creativity

“I never thought I would be able to design an ad for a place that sells cars,” said one Grade 5 Langley student taking part in this year’s Langley Advance Times Design An Ad program.

Another described the experience as “hard but fun,” while another said “it was a little challenging, but I really liked it.”


Twenty eight Grade 5 students from R.C. Garnett Elementary were among those who took part in the 2021 Design An Ad program, an annual initiative that sees kids create advertisements for participating companies.

Students have fun while also learn from the experience, said their teacher, Julia Henrey.

“I appreciate the opportunity this offers for my students to see how the work they do in school is relevant to the work adults do; it really helps them see that what they are learning will be useful to them in their adult lives,” said Henrey, who has been part of the ad design program since 2018.

“I love that this is a real world example of many of the tasks we have kids complete at school,” Henrey said.

There were a total of 13 Grade 4 and 5 classes from the Langley school district that participated.

While appreciated by participating teachers and students, this annual program also proves popular with the businesses that take part, many signing on year after year.

“We love participating in this each year… We love seeing their little creative minds come to life and bring forward something that represents our company and our brand,” said Gandy Installations’ Shannon Gandy.

“The artistic designs get passed around everyone’s desk at our office. We like to engage our staff and do a vote for the best one,” she explained.

Similarly, MacCallum Law Group is a huge fan of what the firm calls a community-oriented campaign.

“These one-of-a-kind works of art made just for us by local kids – champion [the company’s] values entirely and we feel incredibly lucky to be involved,” said general manager Sophie MacCallum.

“Let’s face it, legal services can be pretty dry. But, having kids interpret what we do, especially through their creative work, sparks such delight,” MacCallum said.

She lauded the “incredible attention to detail, the creative vision, skillful patience, and neatness and passion for design” that she saw shine through, making selection of only two designs very hard.

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John Keranen, a Grade 4 teacher at Richard Bulpitt Elementary, involved 26 of his students in this year’s project.

“I think it is an excellent way of showing students possible careers in the arts,” said Keranen, who’s been part of the program for six years now.

“Over the years, I have seen students develop and push their ideas and really get a sense of what it can be like to be a graphic designer,” Keranen said, noting one of the things his students love most is seeing their work recognized in such a public forum as the newspaper.

“I felt like an adult,” said one of the participating students. One added: “I was happy to be able to contribute,” while another concluded, “Thank you for putting your trust in us.”


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