Elementary students celebrate World Rivers Day

By Vanessa Ybarra
October 12, 2017 - 5:56pm Updated: October 12, 2017 - 8:33pm

KAMLOOPS — Thursday marks World Rivers Day, a global celebration of rivers and the critical roles they play in our lives.

The name 'Kamloops' in Secwepemc means 'where the rivers meet' so what better place to celebrate the day than right here in our city.

On Thursday students from Bert Edwards Science and Technology School celebrated the day and learned about the importance of our waterways.

It was a sea of kids along the North Thompson Thursday afternoon.

"We have about 260 kids involved today," said Jennifer Boyle, Vince Principal of Bert Edwards Science and Technology School. "We have 14 different stations with presenters from all over the community and school district helping out today."

Students from Bert Edwards Science and Technology School ditched the books for the beach to learn about the vital role the North and South Thompson river play as part of World Rivers Day.

"It's an opportunity for our kids to be engaged in learning, to be doing hands-on learning down at the river," said Boyle. "It connects our district with numerous community members and Aboriginal Principals of Learning."

From learning how rivers act as watersheds to gold panning and learning how insects can be beneficial in rivers from Domtar officials, the Kamloops event that was started by former teacher Joanne Nicklas has quickly become one of the most popular and important events at the school.

"We started Rivers Day about ten years ago," said Volumteer Joanne Nicklas. "We just thought what better opportunity, the river is a five minute walk away from the school and kids can be outside all day to learn about river items."

For Nicklas, who now works for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, her hope is the children walk away with a new level of respect and understanding of our cities main waterways.

"I think there's always concern about water issues" said Nicklas. "They have to have that knowledge and understanding in order to make wise decisions in the future,"

Thursday's river enthusiasts are on the right track.

"I learned dragonflies are born without wings," said one boy.

"I learned fish come from eggs," said another boy.

"I learned there's water underground," said a girl.

"There are kids that aren't outside much, who don't realize we have salmon right in our backyard," said Nicklas. "It's important we teach kids about this and look after our water and rivers, so today was a really good learning day."

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