Students in High Prairie have the chance to take a step back in time and learn more about the cultural diversity that makes up their community thanks in part to funding from the Lovsin Family Legacy Grant through the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta.
Developed by the High Prairie & District Museum and Historical Society, the Time Traveller program offers elementary students the opportunity to explore the history of the people who make up their community.
Special suitcases curated by local community members are filled with things that remind each member of home, nationality or heritage, including toys, pictures, clothing, traditional tools etc. Curators included people of First Nation and Metis descent, as well as French, Ukrainian and Filipino descent.
“The teachers and their students have been thrilled with our Time Traveller Project,” says Darlene Adams of the museum. “They really appreciate that the program is mobile – they are able to borrow the museum kits that we have put together and have them right in their classroom.”
Once students have gone explored all the items in the suitcases, they then play some traditional games and/or do a craft that celebrates a part of the community’s cultural heritage.
“Giving them the opportunity to handle, touch, try on, play with and discuss the many items in the suitcases, provides them with a tangible learning experience,” says Adams. “Some of these students have seen similar items at the museum, where “Do Not Touch” is strictly reinforced.”
Students have appreciated the chance to have some hands-on experience with history.
“I think it was so cool how we got to see the stuff people used way back then,” says Sam, age 10.
“I really thought he stuff was amazing!” says Amanda, also 10. “Thank you very much for letting us see the things from the past.”
“This project supports creating a greater sense of belonging in our community by embracing our differences,” says Adams. “Our differences can lead to dynamic community interaction, and by involving a mix of cultures and backgrounds we will provide the framework for greater understanding and a greater feeling of inclusiveness for everyone.”
Adams notes the project would not have been possible without the support and funding received through the Community Foundation. “We are thrilled that the basis of this project is such that we can continue to use if for years to come,” she says.
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Frank and Agnes Lovsin Legacy Fund, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift is distributed to support charitable activities in the North Peace Area which contribute to quality of life. Donations can be made online here – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/36925 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.