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Immersive Remembrance Day lesson for students at New Glasgow Academy

New Glasgow Academy grade 3 student Kylie Dunn tries on a Canadian Armed Forced combat helmet on display at New Glasgow Academy. The Pictou County Military Museum, donated this and many more artifacts for the school's Remembrance Day event.
New Glasgow Academy grade 3 student Kylie Dunn tries on a Canadian Armed Forced combat helmet on display. The Pictou County Military Museum, donated this and many more artifacts for the school's Remembrance Day event. - Brendan Ahern
NEW GLASGOW, N.S. —

The importance of Remembrance Day is imprinted early on students across the country during this time of year with school assemblies and studies.

Like the ceremony at the cenotaph at the eleventh hour of eleventh day in the eleventh month, this school tradition honors the men and women who have sacrificed so much in the conflicts that continue to shape the nation.

At New Glasgow Academy staff found a way to make the lives of those men and women feel more real for their students.

“It felt heavy,” said Grade 3 student Kylie Dunn.

Dunn was wearing one of the military helmets brought to the school by the Pictou County Military Museum.

Tables lined the length of one classrooms with uniforms and gear worn by service men and women during nearly a century of conflict, from WW1 to present.

“We really wanted to offer students a more immersive experience,” said NGA music teacher Sheila Aucoin.

Last year Aucoin and the school’s art teacher Gabrielle Cheverie reached out to museum director David Avery to see if they could bring these artifacts over to the school.

“We have all these wonderful artifacts and it’s a good way to help out with the community,” said Avery in a phone interview.

This year the Nova Scotia Highlanders reserve unit also rolled up to the school in a heavy lift truck and students were lined up outside for the chance to take a look inside.

“It’s fun to see all the little kids experiencing and learning,” said North Nova student Gabrielle Dixon who was helping students try on some equipment donated by Afghanistan veteran Tyson Bowen. Dixon was with a handful of older students with the Royal Canadian Army Cadets taking part in the display.

“We’re trying to make a connection between the past and present,” said Aucoin.

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