Time Travelling Ambassadors at Princess Elizabeth Public School

Students in period costume

A trip to a Brantford landmark for students in Grades 6 and 7 at Princess Elizabeth Public School this spring turned into a neat opportunity to make Mother’s Day truly special. Students visited the Bell Homestead, a national historic site due to Alexander Graham Bell having fine tuned his invention of the telephone there, and made a positive impression resulting in a unique volunteer role.

“Following the trip, Bell Homestead staff reached out to see if our students would be interested in acting as tour guides during one of their busiest days of the year,” explains Gail Ash, Principal at Princess Elizabeth, of the Mother’s Day opportunity. “They were impressed with the students’ enthusiasm, so we were all really proud to see them take this on.”

Bell Homestead staff then worked with students in class, providing training and coaching as they prepared for their roles as museum interpreters. This training involved a special dress rehearsal at the Homestead leading up to the big day. Students were ready to provide guided tours to guests, in character to fit the late 1800’s era in which Bell enjoyed some of his most prolific summers at the Homestead.

“Students learned a lot about the history of the homestead and site, and that empowered them as they also worked on their public speaking skills,” said Meaghan Steckle, Grade 6/7 Teacher at Princess Elizabeth, who supported both classes with this endeavor. “Each student was responsible for providing interpretation in a particular room of the home so guests could make the most of their experience.”

Community is an important part of Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, and opportunities like this partnership with the Bell Homestead do much to enhance the learning experiences of students. Student volunteer guides were also joined by their families at the Homestead on Mother’s Day, further enhancing the special community connections made possible through this opportunity.

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