Lethbridge Christian School Grade 8 class wins trip to Nova Scotia

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

Allison Overbeeke’s Grade 8 class at Lethbridge Christian School is heading to Halifax this June.

This morning, Parks Canada staff visited the school to announce the class won the grand prize in the My Parks Pass Canada Video Competition, what has been dubbed Canada’s Coolest School Trip.

“This has been such an amazing journey,” said Overbeeke, who added her students started the process back in September, after she planted the seed for the idea back when the kids were in Grade 7. “We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to go.”

A total of 50,269 votes were entered from across the country, as Lethbridge Christian first had to make the top 12. From there, Lethbridge Christian’s video was selected as the overall winner.

“I think for them, they had the best overall video,” said Alex Trotter Clare, Learning and Education Program Officer with Parks Canada, as she added the video showcased Waterton’s history and all the activities the park offers. “It looked like every student in the class was involved.”

Every student in the entire school was there to cheer on the Grade 8 class, as students and staff erupted in cheers as the school was announced as the grand-prize winner.

“These kids marched down to the computer room every week and they voted for us,” said Overbeeke, as she marveled at how the entire school rallied behind her class throughout the voting process.

The 18 Lethbridge Christian School students spent months on the project, as the process began in September. The video was filmed in January, when the entire class made the trek south to the park.

Students were tasked with developing a timeline and storyboard for the video, which included a ton of research on the history of the park. Little by little, the project began to come together. And even though it is only a one-minute video, Overbeeke added her students put in countless hours to produce a polished video submission.

“As a teacher, this is so outside the box,” she said of the skills students utilized. “They’ve learned technology, teamwork and the thought process of putting together a script.”

They also learned the art of promotion, as students handed out 1,800 pamphlets at this year’s teachers’ convention, reached out to local media and made a pitch to the Lethbridge Hurricanes, as the class earned a spot on the Enmax Centre video board during a game, to encourage locals to vote for their video.

Students spent an entire day in Waterton filming the video, which begins with some outdoor time-lapse photography and a quick segment of a student colouring in a photo of the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel.

From there, the video showcases Waterton hot spots like Cameron Lake and Red Rock Canyon, a variety of park wildlife and photos of students at locations such as the park’s welcome sign and the downtown Wieners of Waterton restaurant.

Students wrestled with what footage would need to be cut, and how many photos could actually be used, as the class created 12 different versions of the video, before a final one was selected.

Overbeeke added students edited video, selected music, developed story boards, completed time-lapse photography, researched park history, designed costumes, acted in the video and provided the voiceovers.

All that hard work has paid off, as the class will head to Halifax June 5-9, with a trip that will include stops at Grand-Pre National Historic Site, Fort Anne (Canada’s first national historic site), Port-Royal National Historic Site, Kejimkujik National Park and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

The five schools who were also finalists in the contest included Kateri School, from Trout Lake, Alberta

For a video that highlighted Wood Buffalo National Park, Annette Street Public School from Toronto, Ontario, who focused on Sirmilik National Park, Garrison Road Public School from Fort Erie, Ontario, who shared the share the historical significance of both the Battlefield of Fort George and Queenston Heights National Site, Mitchell District High School from Mitchell, Ontario, who covered Point Clark Lighthouse Historic Site and Cummer Valley Middle School from Toronto, Ontario, who featured Banff National Park.

Lethbridge Christian School’s winning video can be viewed here: http://contest.myparkspass.ca/en/Winners

Date posted: April 12, 2017