The Gleaner

Franklin Elementary students celebrate Earth Day with Dawson College

Summer Arcoite and Dylan Hallé
Franklin Elementary School

Franklin Elementary students spent Earth Week learning about nature from some new teachers.

Four students from the Community, Recreation and Leadership Training (CRLT) program at Dawson College in Montreal came to the school on April 24 to help Franklin students see nature in a different way.

This was the fourth year in a row that Dawson students have come to Franklin as part of their three-year program. According to the program description, the CRLT program emphasizes hands-on learning through fieldwork placements, which “develop leadership skills and provide real work experience.” Students learn to plan, lead, and evaluate recreational and community-based activities and events, like organizing educational activities for elementary school kids.

“Every year when they come here, we try to incorporate nature-based activities and Earth Day,” said former Franklin principal Eveline Taylor, who first invited students from Dawson College to visit the small country school.

“They are always looking for a good place for their activities. I think it is almost as much fun for the Dawson students as it is for our students.”


Franklin Elementary students participated in workshops led by Dawson College students on April 24 PHOTO Franklin Elementary School


The CRLT students organized several activities; for example, a “what’s in the box” challenge, a look-and-feel activity, and all the participating students planted tomato seeds that they will eventually take home.

“It was fun. We got to touch healthy soil, vines, sunflower seeds, and roots,” said one student. “I also learned that there are 45,000 bee eggs in a beehive,” he added, remembering some of the facts they taught the students. “I definitely learned something,” he said.

Another student pointed out that the CRLT students “don’t have a lot of nature and trees around them so they said we are lucky.” She described the college students as being “really energetic and funny. They made us listen to them and understand what they meant about nature. It was fun and inspiring learning new facts about nature,” she said.

“What we all appreciated here was just the view,” said CRLT student Alex Adolphe, of the school yard and region in general.

“We had the chance to prepare something for them,” he said of the activities at Franklin. He explained that they spent a lot of time researching and preparing the activities so they would be appropriate for young rural kids.

Franklin principal Carla Shaw said the visit from the Dawson College students was important because “Franklin makes nature and outdoor learning our priorities.”

At the end of their visit, the Dawson students thanked the Franklin kids for their attention and for listening. The Franklin students also said a big thank you.

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