Lucky students in North Battleford had an opportunity to connect with other kids from across Canada on Wednesday, as part of a project to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
The event called Kids Meet Canada is being touted as Canada’s first live national kindergarten to Grade 8 Class Meet Up.
Connaught Elementary School was selected to represent Saskatchewan – and was one of six schools from Newfoundland to British Columbia taking part in the project.
“It’s the first time this has ever been done – a coast to coast webcast or Google Hangout,” teacher Jamie Whitt said. She helped organize the local event.
”The kids are extremely excited,” she added.
Students participated in a webcast to reach out to other youth and share stories about what makes their communities interesting. Students also participated in a Canadian trivia challenge and were involved in making a webpage to highlight their community.
“The website is all about the kids; the kids do it,” Whitt said, adding students have been writing short pieces about their experiences and posting photos as part of the project.
Kids taking part in the project focused on sharing information about their community’s geography, language and culture.
Connaught Elementary School Grade 4 and 5 teacher Alexis Christiansen received a $2,500 CFC 150 Community Foundation Grant for the school to use. Grade 3 teacher Jamie Whitt’s class was given $1,000 of the funding to explore and experience the local community this year.
Whitt said her class was able to take part in five field trips with the funding, so they were able to “experience” and learn more about their community prior to taking part n the webcast.
Kids Meet Canada is part of the Kids’ Guide to Canada project involving a national committee of volunteers. The students’ website creation will be available for viewing later this week at the Kids Guide to Canada website at: akgtcanada.com
Cathy Beach is the national co-ordinator with the Kids Guide to Canada committee that’s made up of a grassroots group of teachers who organized the project. She said the Kids Meet Canada project aims to promote and respect diversity across the country, and to encourage dialogue. The group recently received a Canada 150 government grant for the Kids Meet Canada project. The funding is earmarked for French and Indigenous participation.
While only six schools gave presentations in the event on June 14, there were a total of 150 other schools across Canada watching the webcast.
In the ongoing project, as many as 500 classes from across Canada are registered to take part so far.
Beach said the Kids Meet Canada project also has a special focus to try to connect Indigenous with non-Indigenous children.
“We want kids to connect and get to know each other,” Beach said. “We want kids of all cultures to get to know each other. There are a lot of different kinds of people and communities [across Canada], and we need to meet each other. If the kids can meet as children and grow up respecting each other, I think we will have a better chance of having a better culture once they are older.”
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