By Tina Comeau
Last fall students from Arcadia Consolidated School discovered on a trip to the Chebogue Cemetery that history was alive around them.
On Thursday, June 16, they’ll be sharing their experience, and what they learned beyond their normal classroom setting, during a public unveiling of their gravestone project display at the school at 1 p.m.
The project is the school’s contribution to Yarmouth’s 250th celebrations.
Last October, the Grade 5 students went to the cemetery – commonly referred to as the Town Point Cemetery – armed with supplies and their curiosity. They spent the morning rubbing gravestones but their project did not end when they boarded buses to head back to school. The students later made a trip to the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives to research the names that they had read on the gravestones.
“The students found it interesting to use the old books and to learn more about the people,” says teacher Jim Rideout, but he says it was a challenge too because the students had to learn how to interpret and reorganize the information. They also discovered that information they needed wasn't always available at their fingertips.
The work of the students will be displayed behind newly-installed fire-safe bulletin board covers that the school was able to purchase thanks to a $5,000 grant from the NSTU's Professional Development Assistance Fund, which also helped to cover the costs of the specialized art supplies required for their project.
Rideout says the students are excited to be part of the area’s 250th celebrations.
“They feel a great sense of achievement in completing a special project,” he says. “As a Yarmouth history fan, having an opportunity to involve my students in the celebrations by contributing to them in a way that reaches back to the beginnings we are celebrating is very satisfying.
“I have personally learned a great deal about our forebears from what the students have put together,” Rideout adds. “We are all fascinated by the challenges people faced in building this community and by the family connections we discovered.”
(NOTE: You can click here for a link to the original story that was written in October 2010 about the students' project.)