Three young students at Princess Alexandra School got an amazing surprise last week.
At a Sept. 2 assembly, they were called to the front and handed golden tickets for a one-day visit to Disneyland.
“I was wondering what the prize was in the golden ticket,” said Joshua Cayen, a 10-year-old Grade 5 student. “I didn’t really know. I just thought it would be a little prize like always but this time I’m going to Disneyland. That was a big surprise for me because I never went there before. It’s new for me. I’m also going on a plane trip for the first time.”
Joshua, who believes he was chosen for the trip because he tries to be kind, said he is looking forward to Disneyland rides and seeing his favourite characters.
The two other students heading to Disneyland are 12-year-old Grade 7 student Cara Abraham and Marie Buggins, a 10-year-old student in Grade 5.
They will all be leaving for Disneyland on Sept. 13 as part of a program called Dreams Take Flight, which is a charity created by employees of Air Canada. They will be spending all of Sept. 14 at the famed amusement park in California.
This is the second year three students from Princess Alexandra School have been taken to Disneyland.
Cara said she is pretty excited about the trip to Disneyland, where she has never been before, and expects it will be “awesome” there.
She believes she was chosen for the trip because she works hard at school.
Marie said she was surprised to be going to Disneyland, and is looking forward to the rides.
When asked why she thinks she was chosen, she replied, “I’ve been good.”
Like Joshua, this trip will be her first time on an aircraft.
All three of the youngsters have the same favourite Disney character they are looking forward to seeing – Mickey Mouse.
Jennifer Tweedie, a teacher at Princess Alexandra School, brought the Dreams Take Flight program to the school for the first time last year, when three other students got to go to Disneyland.
The three students this year will also have a whirlwind trip to Disneyland.
Tweedie will accompany them to Edmonton, where they will join a Dreams Take Flight team and other children and be off to California.
The children will be treated to Disney clothes and gifts, and will even be given money so they can shop at Disneyland.
Dreams Take Flight has existed for 25 years and offers trips to either Disneyland or Disney World in Florida for children all across Canada. The children – aged from nine to 12 years – are selected for the trip of a lifetime based on a range of criteria.
“My principal and I work together, and we start with a small list, really,” said Tweedie of how the children are chosen. “These are kids that otherwise would never be able to go.”
She said the children are also kind and generous, and deserving of such an adventure.
Tweedie said the children will feel the experience in their hearts for the rest of their lives.