Haitian earthquake 2010 and kids
Haitian earthquake relief funds
Protesters egg soldiers
Shake Hands with the Devil
Canadians with family in Haiti can call the Foreign Affairs Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa at 800-387-3124, 613-943-1055, or email [email protected]
Canadians in Haiti can get in touch with Canadian Embassy officials in Port-au-Prince by calling 613-996-8885.
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the capital of Haiti last week, destroying the Presidential Palace and the UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince. This morning an aftershock of 6.0 struck northwest of the city. There were still people sleeping outside in the open, afraid such an aftershock would occur. Others who had been indoors ran out into the street.
Do our students here in Montreal know how to connect with such a catastrophic event?
Forty years ago Graham Nash admonished parents of the time to, “Teach your children well.” His message continues to be a valid one for Montrealers – at home and at school.
The curriculum followed in Quebec public schools and many private ones too, makes no specific provision for social studies in the first few grades of primary school. Teachers are expected to integrate lessons on geography, history, current events and so on into activities for other subject areas such as math and language arts.
From grades 3-6, the Geography, History and Citizenship Education course places its emphasis on the roots of Quebec and Canada.
Geography takes on a more global perspective in secondary I & II (grades 7-8) as does History and Citizenship Education at the cycle 1 (grades 7-8) and cycle 2 (grades 9-11) levels. Students begin to explore economics and power structures in the last year of high school, with the Contemporary World course.
When adults think of history lessons, what often comes to mind is systematically learning about a list of significant people and events. Similarly, geography is about working with maps – learning continents and oceans, countries, provinces and their capitals, Great Lakes and so on. The new focus of social studies is a positive one, in which the student learns to explore more than memorize, to analyze and to find his place in the world. That being said, because there are few required specifics in the curriculum, there is little guarantee of exactly what places, people and events our children will learn about as they make their way through school.
Can Montreal school children relate to what’s going on in Haiti? Here are some topics to consider discussing with your children at home. Consider suggesting them for school projects, current events activities, assemblies, etc. Parents who want to be more involved at school should consider volunteering to run a special event or to make a presentation. This sort of project would fit in wonderfully with school-based fund raising for Haitian earthquake relief.
Here are some topics for discussion and special projects:
- There are about 100,000 Haitians living in Canada, many of whom settled in Montreal. About 200 Haitian-Canadians serve on Montreal’s police force, among them 28 who were on a mission in Haiti when the earthquake hit last week. Another 18 have left for Haiti this morning as part of a mission named Koud Men (related to the French coup de main, a helping hand.)
- Also leaving this morning on the Air Transat Airbus A330, were 11 doctors and 5 nurses, as well as a team of eight chefs from Cuisiniers sans frontières (Cooks Without Borders,) a Montreal-based charity that will provide the nutrition and comfort of a warm meal to Haitians in crisis.
- In addition to the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and water purification teams the Canadian Forces have sent to help since the earthquake, an additional 500 sailors have left on HMCS Halifax and HMCS Athabaskan. Another 1,000 soldiers from the Royal 22e Régiment (the “Van Doos”) out of CFB Valcartier, near Quebec City will be joining their colleagues in Haiti. Good sources for the history of the Van Doos include the CBC Archives and Wikipedia.
- Montreal will be the site of a convention on January 25, to discuss reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Foreign ministers from 16 countries in North, South and Central America will be present.
- Evacuees from Haiti to Canada are all arriving at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Montreal charity Sun Youth has put out an appeal asking for donations of warm clothing and footwear to give the people as they arrive to a Canadian winter. Ottawa is trying to expedite paperwork for Haitians with family in Canada, but warns that some may fall prey to immigration scams.
“1,000 Canadian Forces personnel to be sent to Haiti” CTV
“1,000 VanDoos headed to Haiti” The Gazette
“Canadian military team heading to Haiti” CBC
“Haitian-Montreal police officers head south to provide aid” CTV
“Navy ships leave Halifax for Haiti” CBC