Travelling Culture Kits Bring The Rooms to Rural Schools

by NationTalk on December 7, 20071316 Views

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Tourism, Culture and Recreation
December 7, 2007

Cultural and historical resources normally found at The Rooms in St. John’s will soon find their way into every intermediate school in the province. The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, announced today that, through a partnership with Tourism, Culture and Recreation, and The Rooms’ corporate sponsor BMO Financial Group, 18 Travelling Culture Kits will bring the incredible resources of this world-class facility to students across Newfoundland and Labrador.”It is important that we seek out ways to make sure all students, regardless of where they live, have access to resources such as those at The Rooms,” said Minister Burke. “This initiative will give students in our many rural communities the opportunity to see what The Rooms has to offer, while making the curriculum more hands-on and meaningful.”

The Travelling Culture Kits will be circulated to all intermediate schools and will complement the Grade 8 Newfoundland and Labrador history curriculum. Each kit contains reproductions of artifacts from The Rooms’ collections, curriculum-linked lesson plans, as well as activities to enrich learning and teaching.

The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, said that when The Rooms opened in 2005, the Provincial Government said it would serve as an important educational resource for young people, enabling them to develop a greater understanding of their cultural heritage.

“Today we are seeing an example of how this vision has become a reality,” Minister Jackman said. “Through these Travelling Culture Kits, students in rural communities will have tangible access to reproductions of historical artifacts, period clothing, artwork, photos and more.”

In 2006, The Rooms successfully acquired a $250,000, three-year corporate donation from BMO Financial Group to assist with the development costs of the Travelling Culture Kits. Additional kits on various topics will be developed in the coming years based upon teacher needs and new curriculum, with the ultimate goal of providing learning resources for classrooms across the province in an easily accessible way.

Janet Peddigrew, vice-president, Newfoundland and Labrador, BMO Bank of Montreal, participated in today’s announcement. “At BMO, we’re committed to life-long learning and it’s only natural that we would help provide school children with an opportunity to learn about The Rooms and its collections through Travelling Culture Kits designed around the school curriculum. We invite companies to support The Rooms as it evolves into one of the leading cultural institutions in the country.”

The initiative is part of the Department of Education’s three-year, $10 million Cultural Connections strategy, announced in 2005, to enhance arts programs and cultural content in schools.

“Though we are Canada’s youngest and coolest province, our history stretches back thousands of years to our earliest Aboriginal people,” said Minister Burke. “The Travelling Culture Kits will connect our young people to our past and help foster a pride in who we are, where we came from, and in just how much we have to offer, as individuals and as a province.”

A circulation schedule for the Travelling Culture Kits by school is available by visiting


Media contacts:

Nora Daly
Public Relations Specialist
Department of Education
709-729-1906, 728-2819

Heather May
Director of Communications
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
709-729-0928, 697-5061

Deanne Fisher
Director of Marketing and Development
The Rooms
709-757-8070, 691-5681


Travelling Culture Kit Lesson-Plan and Materials

Beginning immediately and carrying through until June, 2008, 18 Travelling Culture Kits entitled Who Are You? will travel to intermediate schools throughout the province. The objective is to provide students with the opportunity to examine cultural expression in our province by studying artifacts, documents, photographs and artwork. By working directly with materials, students will have the opportunity to create an exhibit and assume the roles of employees who work in The Rooms Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum.

Five lesson plans accompany the Who Are You? Travelling Culture Kit:

What is The Rooms?: An examination of why the preservation and protection of artifacts, artwork and documents is important.

Stuff of Life: Students assume the roles within a museum and work together to create an exhibit based on kit artifacts. Reproduction artifacts include Dorset soapstone bear, Maritime Archaic hair comb, a Beothuk comb, as well as reproductions of items used by European settlers.

Having Fun: An examination of the differences in a library and an archives, and the exploration of early 1900’s lifestyles through the review of newspapers, photographs and other documents from the era.

Arts and Culture: Students ‘read’ pictures, research local artists and create their own piece of art. Digital images of works from art gallery are included.

Covering up: Students combines artifacts, artwork and documentation to create an exhibit related to the theme of clothing. Reproduction samples are included for demonstration and use.

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