Valley schools receive Acadian heritage educational resources
FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent Acadian Archives acadiennes, with financial assistance from the Maine Acadian Heritage Council, recently donated gift baskets containing learning resources on Acadian history and culture to St. John Valley schools.
The gift baskets were distributed to school libraries in Van Buren, Madawaska, Frenchville and Fort Kent.
Each basket contained more than 30 classroom items for teachers and students about the history and culture of Acadie and Acadians of the St. John Valley, Lise Pelletier, UMFK Acadian Archives acadiennes director, said.
“The gift baskets will provide teachers with classroom resources to help them teach about Acadian history and culture, about the Acadian Diaspora, and about Acadians in the world today,” Pelletier said.
The baskets contain a wealth of pedagogical resources including history texts, documentary videos, juvenile literature for kindergarten through grade 12, lesson plans, an 80-page coloring book, maps, posters and a booklet and a teacher’s guide about Acadia of the Lands and Forest.
“The books for students K-12 were all selected for their historical accuracy and for their positive depiction of Acadians — not speaking pidgin English or living in caves or inferior to the English,” Pelletier said. “It’s good for our kids to see heros with names like Landry, Nadeau, Theriault or Thibodeau. It’s important for them to see that Acadians are not a folk people who do not exist anymore, but who exist everywhere in the world.”
The baskets also contain a large Acadian flag for each of the schools and a 53-slide PowerPoint presentation Pelletier created with illustrations about Acadie and the St. John Valley.
“The timeline will help teachers with important events and with historical and cultural facts about the St. John Valley Acadians,” Pelletier said.
Each basket is worth approximately $750. The baskets were funded by a $2,400 grant the Acadian Archives was awarded from the Maine Acadian Heritage Council for Educational Resources, and the Archives also contributed approximately $1,300 to help fill the baskets, according to Pelletier.