Erin Faber sounds out her one-minute recording capturing what life has been like during COVID-19. (Travis Paterson/News Staff) Erin Faber sounds out her one-minute recording capturing what life has been like during COVID-19. (Travis Paterson/News Staff) Erin Faber sounds out her one-minute recording capturing what life has been like during COVID-19. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Monterey students record their COVID-19 stories for provincial project

Grade 7 students part of Royal B.C. Museum project

There were no field trips this spring for Monterey middle school’s Grade 7 ocean studies program.

No overnight camping, no walks with First Nations leaders, no field excursions led by University of Victoria academics.

Plainly put, just another list of things cancelled due to the pandemic.

At last, some of the ocean studies kids are back in school. Technically their final grades are in but the class had committed to one last project regardless (OK, they also didn’t get to show off their three-dimensional models).

The class has partnered with the Royal B.C. Museum rapid response project, in which members of the public share their COVID-19 stories through audio recordings, videos, and images. The ocean studies students are doing audio recordings of their reflections on the pandemic, which will go into the RBCM archives.

“We’ll have all 25 students submitting about one minute each,” teacher Mark Brown said.

The recordings will be stitched together and anonymous, though most of the public submissions are attributed.

“It’s a big deal, COVID-19,” said student Chelsea Copeman. “I had my birthday right at the beginning and it was my 13th, my first birthday as a teenager, and I wanted to have all my friends but I couldn’t. It’s not something people have experienced. Imagine if you don’t live with your mom and you’re not allowed to visit her on Mother’s Day.”

While many of the youth shared a similar sentiment, they each tell their own story.

“Diaries and things kept during disasters, not that this is a disaster, but those are amazing stories to hear,” student Erin Faber said.

Considering the pandemic canceled a lot of the activities that the class’ learning is centered around, Brown and the class jumped at the chance to add this project into their final days at school.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

“It’s no longer about getting good grades, it’s about making sure the learning is authentic and that the kids are participating,” said Brown. “For them, it’s not about getting my approval at this point, it’s about doing something important. When we try something, we care.”

Chris O’Connor, learning program developer with RBCM, said so far there are about 150 submissions in total from the public.

“We have worked with some other classrooms as well, and it’s great to have the youth voice,” O’Connor said. “It’s an opportunity to collect as many different kinds of stories and perspectives and seeing what people are deciding is important to them.”

READ ALSO: Monterey installs playground climber to kids delight

Some submissions are going up on the RBCM’s online gallery with the goal of hosting a tangible exhibition one day.

For now, the kids see their oral history as a way for adults to look at the pandemic through their eyes, said student Beatrice Sharp.

“Adults can get a feel for what youth are experiencing,” Sharp said. “I think it will be good for people who didn’t know about what it was like.”

“I’m extremely honoured, it’s nice to know I have a chance to have an impact at some point, maybe in the future, on what it’s been like,” said student Keira van den Berg.

“It’s not awful [for everyone] but it is also not an experience that we’ve been through before. And it has been difficult being locked up in my room.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

sd61

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read