Ottawa school wins early-bird draw in GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest

    TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ - Grade six students at Fielding Drive Public
School in Ottawa, ON welcomed acclaimed Canadian children's author Kenneth
Oppel into their classroom today, thanks to the GMAC Great Canadian Writing
Contest, a national, bilingual contest made possible by Founding Sponsor
General Motors Acceptance Corporation of Canada, Limited (GMAC) and managed by
ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation.
    In the contest, grade five and six students across the country are
invited to submit an original short story to be judged for possible
publication. An early-bird draw was established to encourage early
participation, and the Ottawa class won the chance to meet Oppel when one of
its students' names was drawn.
    "We are honoured to have Kenneth Oppel visit our students," said Barbara
Lloyd, principal of Fielding Drive Public School. "Literacy is a main focus
for our school and permeates everything we do. It's great to have Mr. Oppel
share his experience and skill with our students to help further encourage
them to practise their own reading and writing."
    Oppel, himself published at the ripe age of 17, is the author of such
books as Skybreaker, Airborn and the Silverwing, Sunwing and Firewing saga,
and received the 2004 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Text.
He enthused that the GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest "is a very exciting
program to get kids writing and expressing their creativity." During his
visit, Oppel spoke with the grade five class about his books and his writing
process, offering tips to the young writers and encouraging them to continue
practising their literacy skills.
    The students at Fielding Drive Public School, a middle school for grades
4 to 8 English and grades 5 to 8 early French immersion, also enjoyed a pizza
lunch and received gift packages, courtesy of GMAC representative Simon
Giroux, the Area Sales Manager for Northeastern Ontario who also attended the
    There is still a little time left for grade five and six students to
enter the judged portion of the writing contest - their entries must be
received by ABC CANADA no later than 5:00 pm ET, April 16, 2007. There will be
13 first-place provincial and territorial winners and five regional winners
published together in a book. In addition to the publishing prizes, there are
also prizes to be won by up to 26 second- and third-place provincial and
territorial winners, and five regional winners will win a donation of $1,000
worth of books for their schools, libraries or family literacy programs,
courtesy of HarperCollinsCanada, Kenneth Oppel's publisher.
    The winning stories will be announced mid-May. The entry form and all
contest details are available at:


    For a picture of Kenneth Oppel and the students, please contact Karen
Benner at or 416-218-0010 ext. 122

    The GMAC Great Canadian Writing Contest is made possible due to Founding
Sponsor General Motors Acceptance Corporation of Canada, Limited (GMAC) and is
managed by ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation.
    Partners for 2007 are: Asia Pulp and Paper Co. Ltd.; Dave Whamond/; grafikom MIL, HarperCollinsCanada; J'aime Lire Magazine;
Mattel Canada; Maud Street Printing Services; OWL Magazine; and Sharp
Electronics of Canada.

    ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation is the national charity committed to
promoting family, adult and workplace literacy to the general public and to
the private sector. ABC CANADA's focus is on public awareness programs,
providing promotional support to local literacy groups, and conducting
research to further the development of a fully literate Canadian population.

    General Motors Acceptance Corporation of Canada, Limited (GMAC), is a
subsidiary of GMAC LLC, a Delaware corporation. GMAC's financing operations
offer a wide range of financial services and products (directly and
indirectly) to retail automotive consumers, and automotive dealerships. These
products and services include the purchase of installment sales contracts and
leases and extending floor plan and other lines of credit primarily to GM

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: ABC CANADA: Jim Pollock,
Director of Communications, (416) 218-0010 ext. 126 or 1-800-303-1004 ext.
126, cell: (416) 524-8267,; GMAC: Sarah Coronel,
Marketing and Communications Supervisor, (416) 234-6322 or 1-800-599-8826 ext.

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