This summer a Rimbey schoolteacher will receive professional development training first hand as he walks on the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.
Paul Payson, a Grade 6/7 teacher at the Christian School is one of 25 Canadian educators who have been se- lected to travel to Juno Beach Centre’s annual Summer Institute and Battlefield Tour in France.
It promises to be a poignant journey back in time where Payson will have the opportunity to walk on the very ground where the brave young soldiers of the horrific world wars fought and died for freedom.
Payson, who is one of the organizers for the Remembrance Day Service at the school, said he is very much looking forward to the tour which he is confident will help him gain first hand knowledge that he can bring back to the classroom.
“We will be working on a project with the Legion,” he said. “We want to identify all the veterans’ graves. The younger kids will make pop- pies and we will place them on all the graves.”
The tour, to be held July 26 to August 4, includes visits to Vimy Ridge, Beaumont- Hamel, Dieppe and historical sites in Normandy including the Juno Beach Centre, Omaha Beach and Arroanches. A Remembrance Service at the Bretteville Canadian War Cemetery where 2,500 Cana- dians are buried will also be part of the agenda.
The participants for the tour were selected based on motivational letters describing the anticipated personal and professional benefits of this experience with particular emphasis on how their teaching of Canadian History will be enhanced in their classrooms and the school.
The Juno Beach Centre is Canada’s only museum on the D-day Landing Beaches in Normandy, founded by Second World War veterans in 2003 as a lasting testament to the Canadian contribution on D-Day and the Normandy Invasion.
For more information on the Juno beach Centre, please visit www.junobeach.org