May 31, 2019 1:37 pm
Updated: May 31, 2019 5:31 pm

Halifax kids on the hunt for history in North End ‘Amazing Race’

WATCH: A group of scavenger-hunting youngsters are hoping to crown their city as “Canada's Most Active Community.” But as Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, their amazing race is about more that getting active – it's a valuable lesson in history as well.

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Children from the north end of Halifax learned a valuable lesson in history this week not by opening up their textbooks, but by racing to the finish line in a fact-filled scavenger hunt at Fort Needham Memorial Park.

The event, called the Amazing (North End) Race, was organized by the Veith House Community Hub for youngsters in their after-school program, to help get them active and engaged in their neighbourhood, both mentally and physically.

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“We thought it would be cool to kind of keep it in the North End, and just get the kids to be able to learn about some of the things around the North End,” said Alex MacKinnon, a community outreach facilitator for Veith House, on Monday.

She spoke with Global News after the conclusion of Amazing (North End) Race, which had the kids run around the park collecting clues that answer questions about the Halifax Explosion – the natural disaster that devastated the neighbourhood in 1917.

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The event was made possible through a small grant from the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge. The goal of the nationwide challenge is to get folks physically active in their neighbourhoods for a chance to have their community crowned ‘Canada’s Most Active Community,’ and to win a $150,000-prize.

“We just saw a lot about the ParticipACTION that’s happened in previous years and we just thought it would fit really well with our community,” said MacKinnon.

“Me and two other students, we kind of took charge of the project,” added Veith House’s intern Emily Haley. “We walked around the neighbourhood and found this area was very concentrated with history, and it was a good safe place for the kids to be active in.”

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The kids finished the scavenger hunt quickly, and were rewarded for their efforts with prizes that encouraged them to continue being active. Eleven-year-old Amaijah Dedman won a basketball, and 10-year-old Amirah Verreault won a water bottle.

“We had to get the bell, and we had to get how many people, like when the Halifax explosion was, and all that stuff,” said Dedman, describing the race.

“I found like the stickers, and like the bells and stuff and the explosion cards, and if you win, you get a prize,” added Verreault.

Veith House organizers said they’re encouraged by the kids’ keen interest in the race and its subject matter, and hope they’ll return to Fort Needham Memorial Park in the future as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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