Hyping heritage at Perlwin Elementary
Throughout the gymnasium of Perlwin Elementary School in Winterton, students were doing their best to impress judges at an event promoting heritage.
Sealing, whaling, rural farming, the Beothuks and hunting. These were just a few of the projects on display April 14 as part of the school’s Heritage Fair, themed around the phrase “All in a Day’s Work.”
It was the second such event at the school after last year’s inaugural fair. Of the 36 projects on display, three were chosen as the winners — Justin George for Forestry: Then and Now; Hannah Pitcher for Nursing; and Kyle Piercey for After All in a Day’s Work. They will move on to the regional fair in May.
“ They did some really good projects,” said Dave Penney, principal at Perlwin Elementary. “ They know their topics very well, and some of them are hard to stump on questions.”
Many parents were on hand during the afternoon to check out the children’s work, but the school also made an effort to involve seniors from the surrounding area. A lunch was made available in the cafeteria, and the school council arranged for guest speakers from the RCMP, the Baccalieu Trail Seniors Resource Centre, and Western Avalon Communities Against Violence as part of a senior’s day.
School council vice-president Gloria Peddle said Perlwin considers seniors in the area to be a vital part of the school’s family.
“ It’s very important that the children mix with the seniors and learn from them,” she said, adding the school often looks for way to include them in events.
Grade 5 student Liam Wade Ellis was inspired by his greatgrandfather in focusing on the traditional general store.
“ My great-grandfather had a store, and it was different from stores now. Right now if you go to Wal-Mart, there’s five checkouts, but back then you probably had to wait 10 minutes for one checkout,” he said.
Llewellyn Trimm owned a store in New Chelsea, and Liam had actual merchandise from it on display, including an old box of chocolates, a weighing device, an old pillowcase, and soda pop bottles. His cardboard display included pictures taken at general stores located along Trinity South like E.J. Cram Ltd. in Green’s Harbour.
Pitcher also had a family connection to her subject. Her greataunt, Shirley Green, was a nurse, and the Grade 5 student was able to model her great-aunt’s vintage nurse hat as part of her presentation.
Her impressive display included old stethoscopes and blood pressure pumps, along with more modern devices used by nurses.
“ There’s been so many changes since back then,” said the Grade 5 student, comparing modern nursing to the work her great-aunt dealt with.
There was oodles of information on her cardboard display in both text and pictures. Pitcher said it took one month to put everything together.
Jamie Green, also a Grade 5 student, chose the Canadian Forces as his topic because of his uncle’s involvement with Canada’s troops. Warrant Officer Eric Green has been to Afghanistan and jumps out of planes, according to his nephew.
“ Without our forces, we wouldn’t be in a very good place now,” said Green.
His uncle was able to track down a remarkable relic from combat for Green — a large shell cartridge from the Second World War. Green’s display offered information about the work of the Newfoundland Regiment and the tragedy at Beaumont Hamel during the First World War, amongst other subjects.
Furthering efforts to draw the whole family into the school, Perlwin is looking to host a family fun day on June 4. Stephanie Powers Green, school council chair, said the event is modelled after a similar project underway at Davis Elementary in Carbonear.
“ We have to promote family involvement and community involvement in our schools,” she said.
Communities Against Violence gave the school council a $ 500 grant to get started, and Powers Green said the school council hopes to gain support from local businesses and community organizations. If all goes well, Powers Green hopes to acquire additional funding next year to make family fun day a monthly event.
Jamie Green’s uncle, Warrant Officer Eric Green, inspired Jamie’s choice to focus on the Canadian Forces for Perlwin Elementary’s Heritage Fair.
Llewellyn Trimm once owned a general store in New Chelsea, which inspired his greatgrandson, Liam Wade Ellis, to make a project about rural stores in Newfoundland and Labrador for Perlwin Elementary’s Heritage Fair.
Const. John Clarke talks with a group of seniors and other interested parties about fraud as part of Perlwin Elementary’s Seniors Day activities.
Grace Brinson and Jonathon Piercey (in the orange shirt) marvelled at Solomon Misheralak’s rabbit Rocky during Perlwin Elementary’s Heritage Fair.
The history of nursing was the subject of Hannah Pitcher’s presentation for the Heritage Fair. Her hat once belonged to Pitcher’s great-aunt, Shirley Green, a former nurse.