Digest>Archives> March 2004

Walking Tour Program Promotes NS Lighthouses and Good Health

By Jeremy D'Entremont


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Kids at the George Bissett Elementary School ...
Photo by: Josette d'Entremont

On November 4, 2003, Josette d’Entremont of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society visited the George Bissett Elementary School in Cole Harbour for the official launching of the Halifax School Board’s Nova Scotia Lighthouse Walking Tour program with the slogan, “Active Life, Healthy Kids.” Volunteer Anne Kay developed the program. It was tested at Musquodoboit Valley Education Centre last year and is being piloted in 15 to 20 schools this year thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Active Halifax Communities initiative.

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Josette d’Entremont and Anne Kay at the George ...

The purpose of the program is to help young students become more physically active in a non-competitive atmosphere while having fun. Students walk around the school or gym, depending on the weather, and record their progress on a record sheet and on a large Nova Scotia lighthouse route map (two minutes of walking = one kilometer on the lighthouse map) in the school’s lobby. When they reach a lighthouse, they receive a collector’s card of that lighthouse for their album, a pin saver, and a sticker for their map. The teacher then reads about the lighthouse from a description book. The book contains information and pictures about the 49 lighthouses used in the program

“The great thing about the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Walking Tour is that it promotes an increase in physical activity in a non-competitive way and exposes our students to our rich lighthouse heritage at the same time,” says Carole Olsen, Superintendent of the Halifax Regional School Board. “As educators we have an important role to play in teaching our students about the benefits of eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise.”

The kids also get to make a refrigerator magnet, bookmark and a puzzle using a different lighthouse each year. They also construct a 3-D lighthouse with shells, rocks, fish and birds. There may also be a year-end trip to a lighthouse, with picnics and games. Along with the fitness and fun aspects of this project, it also helps the students in mapping skills, geography, language arts and math.

“The teachers, students and even parents are really excited about this new lighthouse program,” says d’Entremont. “The hallways of that school are decorated by the students’ own lighthouse drawings. It’s nice to see!”

This story appeared in the March 2004 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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