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Memory Project embraces online format to connect veterans, students due to COVID-19

Last Updated Nov 11, 2020 at 8:43 am PST

Victory Square in Vancouver, Nov. 2017. (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Historica Canada says it's Memory Project has taken on a more virtual format to connect veterans and students

Memory Project connects veterans and currently serving military members to community groups and classrooms

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – COVID-19 may have changed the way we are observing Remembrance Day this year, but a program connecting our veterans with classrooms across Canada has found new ways of sharing memories.

The Memory Project from Historica Canada allows vets and members of our military who are currently serving to interact with community groups and classrooms, and it’s usually a very busy time of year.

But Bronwyn Graves says the pandemic required Historica Canada to pivot to more of an online approach, to help protect the health of veterans.

Graves says many of these veterans have been very willing to adapt to virtual sessions.

“When I say veterans, you’re talking about people who are probably your, you know, grandparents’ age and they are rolling with this and adapting to the new technology and have jumped in with both feet to make these connection and engage digitally with students,” she tells NEWS 1130.

In addition to enthusiasm from veterans, Graves says educators have also been quick to book sessions, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Teachers are also kind of getting the hang of teaching online and of engaging their students in this way. They’re also becoming more comfortable engaging other resources, like our program through a video engagement or some sort of Q&A session,” she adds.

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Meanwhile, Graves says harder-to-reach, northern communities have been particularly eager to take part.

She notes some communities, where connecting a veteran physically to a school has been difficult in the past, now have the opportunity to take advantage of the program.

“We’ve been able to connect remote communities with speakers,” she says. “We’ve had some hard-to-serve communities come back to us year after year, like one school in Baker Lake, Nunavut, that wanted to connect their primarily Inuk students with an Indigenous veteran. But we didn’t have anyone in the area who could reach them.”