Kamloops elementary school celebrates World Rivers Day

By Adam Donnelly
October 12, 2018 - 4:34pm Updated: October 12, 2018 - 6:35pm

KAMLOOPS — In 1980, Mark Angelo founded BC Rivers Day as an event to recognize the importance of the waterways which flow throughout our province. In the 38 years since the once-local event has grown globally and is now known as World Rivers Day.

It wasn’t your average Friday for the students of Bert Edwards Science and Technology. Instead of the usual classroom day, they headed down to the banks of the North Thompson River not far from their school to celebrate World Rivers Day.

“I hope [the students] take away… the interaction with each other down here as they’re learning,” Bert Edwards Principal Frank Law told CFJC Today. “The advantages of being outdoors and learning, the advantages of being around and learning from different people who have different perspectives…They’re examining different types of activities that they wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to in the classroom.”

Instead of regular science and art classes, students moved between several different stations hosted by a wide variety of community partners, including Domtar, the City of Kamloops, WildSafeBC, and some indigenous educators sharing their culture with the students.

Kenthen Thomas is a teacher with School District 73, as well as a Secwepemc storyteller. For him, World Rivers Day is the perfect occasion to get students outside thinking about sustainability.

“Within these stories, [are contained] our Secwepemc laws that we used to live by,” Thomas explained. “They’re important to share with the students to show some of our histories, to show some of our ancestors' knowledge.”

The hands-on learning these students received beside the North Thompson River is an experience their principal hopes makes a lasting impression.

According to Law: “They really get an idea of what the river life is all about. How we use the river, how the river influences our daily lives, the history of the river and the peoples that have lived around Kamloops is really important.”

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