Our Goal: Reaching Classrooms Across Canada

October 3, 2016
Students get a hands-on experience with military history

Students get a hands-on experience with military history through Supply Line’s First World War Discovery Boxes.

At more than 150 schools in the National Capital Region, many students come from low-income families, while others are new Canadians, some just arrived from refugee camps. “Our children don’t get out much,” one teacher says.

For some schools, a visit to the Museum might be out of reach, and it’s not just admission prices holding these students back. With soaring transportation costs, getting to the Museum is half the battle.

But for the past 10 years, more than 45,000 students have visited the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian War Museum thanks to the donor-supported School Access Program, which underwrites the cost of buses and program delivery.

While at the Museum, students dive into a range of curriculum-connected topics: early European settlements and First Peoples, Remembrance Day and Canada’s wartime stories. “Anything we can get for our kids is a great thing,” a participating teacher remarks. “It unlocks a world of possibilities.”

Another approach is to bring the Museum to the classroom. The Canadian War Museum’s Supply Line Program, now in its second year, is an excellent example.

Supply Line’s travelling kits contain authentic and reproduction artifacts. One teacher describes how a Grade 10 boy holding a uniform jacket called over a friend: “Feel this! Feel how heavy it is! Can you imagine wearing this in the trenches and in battle?”

Maintaining the 25 kits is a lot of work, but the payoff is enormous. “The distance from any museum prevents my students from visiting,” says one teacher. “This program finally addresses the gap for students in rural Canada.”

Both the School Access and Supply Line Programs rely on donors to reach otherwise inaccessible classrooms. Each year, donors bring special moments and create a lasting educational impact on thousands of children across the country.