Historica fairs a great resource for schools, says Dunnville Christian School principal
Four students from schools that are members of the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) received top honours in the Grand Erie District Regional Historica Fair 2008.
Three of the students have been selected to advance to the Ontario Provincial Historica Fair and will be traveling by train to Ottawa in June for five days. They will learn about Canadian history by touring the capital city.
The fourth student is one of a 100 delegates from across Canada who will be flown to the National Historica Fair in British Columbia for a week in July. Historica and its sponsors fund all trips.
Benjamin Bonsma, a Grade 5 student at Wellandport Christian School, was selected as a provincial fair delegate for his project on the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
He says he worked almost four hours a day for three weeks on his entry, which is a model of the Battle. He created the rolling field from a cloth soaked in Plaster of Paris and molded over a base of cardboard and Styrofoam. He then hand-painted each of his to-scale model soldiers.
Benjamin says he’s excited about the excursion to the capital city.
“One of the events they have arranged is going to a war museum in Ottawa and I’m looking forward to that,” he says.
The other two provincial delegates are Emma Dykstra, Grade 6, from Dunnville Christian School for her exhibition on Fur Trading in Canada, and Julia Smit, Grade 8, from Covenant Christian School for her Halifax Explosion project.
Sarah Cattel, Grade 8, from Jarvis District Christian School is the national delegate. Her project depicts Life in the Trenches during the Second World War. Joyce Koornneef, principal of Dunnville Christian School (DCS), says the Historica fairs are a great resource for schools. There is no cost for participating in them.
Koorneef is co-ordinator of the Grand Erie District fair, a role she took on three years ago after she couldn’t find a regional fair for DCS to join.
Historica learned of her interest and contacted Koornneef to see if she would like to start a regional fair in Grand Erie.
With DCS now hosting the event there have been a few unexpected bonuses, says Koorneef, who receives a grant for running the regional fair.
“With the fair being held at my school, Dunnville Christian School receives great promotion because community people come to check out the fair and in turn check out our school,” she says. “We are becoming known in our community because of the fair. The media coverage every year has been fabulous.”
Koorneef adds that the fairs provide a great way for students to get to know about their Canadian heritage.
“In order to become proud Canadians, we need to know our story of why we’re here,” she says, pointing out that the same is true of one’s Christian heritage.
This year six schools and two home-schooling groups participated in the Grand Erie fair. A panel of professionals, including politicians, historians and former teachers, judge the entries.
Dunnville will be presenting on Historica at the Ontario Christian School Teachers Association Convention 2008 in October.
To learn more about getting involved in the Historica Fair Program, visit www.histori.ca.