It was an experience of a lifetime for a Grade 5 student from Halifax who flew to Japan and back with her teacher to represent not only her school and province but Canada in the Kid Witness News video finals.
Hannah Daley, 11, travelled to Tokyo late last week with her teacher Andrew Stickings on behalf of Ecole Rockingham School after their video was chosen as one of 26 finalists from 18 countries for worldwide video education program. Ecole Rockingham was the only school chosen from Canada as a finalist.
During their time in Japan, Daley participated in a global summit which saw students from various countries put together in groups to complete tasks under the “A Better Life, a Better World” slogan, according to Stickings. They looked at the culture of Japan, and also discussed issues youth were facing in the world and how it could be solved.
Daley said it was a learning experience she won’t forget.
“I learned a lot about working in groups and teamwork and how to communicate — especially cause most of the people in my group didn’t speak English — and I learned a lot about different cultures and communities in the world,” Daley told Global News in an interview.
Stickings, who teaches a Grade 5/6 split class said he’s been part of the Kid Witness News program for the past 10 years and has been doing video in his classroom for even longer than that.
He said through researching more about video production, he came across the program and applied to be a KWN school. Though he has switched schools, Stickings said it’s something students know him for.
“I would say it’s something that they look forward to doing now,” he said, adding even if the school hadn’t been a finalist, they’d still know about the video project.
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With technological advances, he said students do often come in with a bit of background experience in video, though he said his class takes that on a bigger scale in terms of planning and involving a lot of students, such as an entire school.
The video the school created showcases Canada in its 150th year by developing a large-scale map of Canada using drawings made by students of all ages. In the video, students are seen placing their images on provincially-shaped cut-outs before putting the “country” together.
Daley said she appreciated being able to take part in directing and the organization of the video and, because Stickings worked 50 per cent this year, she was also his eyes and ears when he wasn’t in the class.
Putting together the country did take a bit of work and several takes, Stickings said.
Stickings submitted the video to Panasonic’s Canadian office in February and after being chosen as the Canadian winner, he was offered to submit it for global recognition. He found out in June they had won.
Finding out the news, Daley said she was shocked not only that the school won but she was chosen to go to Japan.
“I was not expecting that,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock for a long time before I realized that it wasn’t actually a dream.”
From the experience, Daley said she’ll take away a sense of being appreciative of what she has and said it also has sparked an interest in journalism.
Stickings told Global News that Rockingham did not win the global contest, but the awards were second to the overall summit.
“I looked around and I didn’t see any losers in that room, I just saw people congratulating people,” he said.