Canadian Soldiers Assistance Team (CSAT) Forum

'We will remember': Connecting students with veterans

Go down

Canadian students connect to Veterans Week through materials created on P.E.I.

Post by Guest on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 17:00

Canadian students connect to Veterans Week through materials created on P.E.I.

'Some students they don't really know a lot about remembrance or military history'

By Nancy Russell, CBC News Posted: Nov 09, 2016 12:00 PM AT Last Updated: Nov 09, 2016 2:39 PM AT

Students at Encounters with Canada in Ottawa reading the Canada Remembers Times. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

It's the biggest week of the year for the team at Veterans Affairs Canada in Charlottetown who create educational materials for Remembrance Day.

​Canadian educators are using the learning resources they create in record numbers in 2016. The department received more than 12,200 orders from teachers, the highest number ever.

"This year it looks as if we have 4.2 million pieces of material already distributed to schools across the country that is out there and being used — it's a real sense of satisfaction," said Patsy Bolger Gallant, director of learning, special projects and commemoration.

Grade 4 students at West Kent Elementary in Charlottetown reading the 2016 edition of Tales of Animals in War. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

This year's materials include an activity booklet for young children, posters, Postcards for Peace and two newspapers, Tales of Animals in War and Canada Remembers Times.

"It feels really good for us because there's a lot of time and effort that goes into developing the articles and really the reason why we're existing here, part of the Veterans Affairs mandate is recognition and that we never forget," added Bolger Gallant.

Patsy Bolger Gallant says it's rewarding to see how many teachers are ordering the educational materials this year.

Planning begins in January

The three education officers, led by Bolger Gallant, started planning the materials early in the New Year, looking at the response from last year, as well as feedback from more than 1,800 teachers across Canada.

"They love that it's free, that it's available in a class pack of 30, that it's bilingual, a lot of educators like that option," said education officer Jill Paton.

Education officer Jill Paton holds copies of this year's activity booklet and Tales of Animals in War, which is in its tenth year.

The team takes care to cover all three branches of the Canadian military — army, air force and navy — as well as the merchant navy — and to include all regions, gender balance, diversity. All of the materials are bilingual.

There are also online guides for teachers.

"They're so happy that there are new stories each year and it's something they can easily implement in the classroom, whether they want to leave it with students to do independently or want to create more of a thematic unit with them," said Paton.

Printable materials available

This is the tenth year for the newspaper, Tales of Animals in War, which uses animals to introduce younger Canadians to remembrance.

There is also the Canada Remembers Times for older students, that has articles and photos, covering a wide range of topics.

Teachers can order packages of postcards and students are encouraged to send messages to Canadian veterans.

Jill Paton has used the newspaper with students taking part in the Encounters with Canada program in Ottawa.

"Some students they don't really know a lot about remembrance or military history, they find it's a great introduction," said Paton.

"It's just a way to get kids talking to each other as well about what's going on and what has happened in our Canadian history," she observed.

Some of the materials are available for printing, including colouring sheets and the newspapers.

There is an activity booklet for younger children that introduces the ideas of remembrance. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

But the education team decided to stick with paper versions of the Veterans Week materials because of positive feedback from teachers and students.

"Just to have that nice tangible paper in front of you is a nice complement to the online resources," said Bolger Gallant.

'It's being used'

Next year, Veterans Affairs will be marking a number of significant anniversaries, including 100 years since the Battle at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, and the 75th anniversary of the battle at Dieppe.

The education team hopes they may even surpass 4.3 million pieces of material distributed before the end of 2016.

"That just gives us the sense that what we are doing is meaningful, that it's being used, that people are receiving it well and we hope to continue this well into the future," said Bolger Gallant.

The Canada Remembers Times has different stories every year, focusing on the three branches of the military — army, navy and air force. (Veterans Affairs Canada)


Back to top Go down

'We will remember': Connecting students with veterans

Post by Guest on Sat 29 Oct 2016, 06:24

'We will remember': Connecting students with veterans
Published October 28, 2016 - 7:52pm

Not one left behind in Yarmouth County

Erica Harris, a student of Plymouth School Yarmouth County, reads the name of a veteran buried in the Plymouth cemetery while Bob Garron gives the salute in November last year.

For those who have them, only their headstones age now.

They are lasting memorials to remind us of brave lives lived. Their courage forged in battle — on land, in sea and sky — now written in stone. Seldom visited, but gratefully remembered in the hearts of millions of Canadians.

For the second year in a row, the Royal Canadian Legion 155 in Wedgeport is recruiting elementary students to help them to pay respect to veterans in 15 cemeteries in their area during Veteran’s Week, Nov. 4-11.

Next week students will place a small Canadian cloth flag on some of the graves of the 368 veterans who have been identified from Pinkney’s Point to Quinan and Surette’s Island, including Wedgeport.

“That is not counting the 56 soldiers of the area served by the Wedgeport Legion who died during the two world wars,” said LeBlanc.

“All except one are buried overseas or their bodies were never found.”

Teachers will accompany students from Plymouth school, École Belleville and École Wedgeport to visit cemeteries in Plymouth, Highland Plains, Surette’s Island, Amirault’s Hill and Wedgeport cemetery.

After putting the flag on the grave, together in an audible voice, they say “we will remember” and read the name of the veteran on the tombstone.

“In many cases this will be the only time these grave sites will be visited during the year,” says legionnaire Cyrille LeBlanc.

The Maple Grove and Yarmouth High School’s Memorial Club also place flags on local graves annually.

Like John McCrae wrote: “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.”

Vice-principal of Plymouth school, Larry Fitzgerald, said it continues to be important to connect students with veterans.

“It gives the students an opportunity to see first hand the level of respect veterans have for their comrades and the sacrifices they all made,” said Fitzgerald.

“And you can see how proud the veterans are to see the level of respect the children show,” he said. “The students understand.”

For all the comments about disrespect in today’s society, he said the veterans see local students showing a lot of respect and making efforts to remember by participating in school services, poster and poetry contests.

Veterans, legionnaires and veteran’s family members will put flags in the other cemeteries the students are not able to get to, said LeBlanc.

The flags will be taken out after November 11 and saved for next year.

The cost of the flags and the stickers used to help identify the graves amounted to about $900 and were paid by donations, said LeBlanc.

The Wedgeport Legion will participate in 14 other Remembrance services or events in schools, churches, senior’s homes and cenotaphs during the week.


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum