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Youth Curators explore layers of Old General Store history!

BICS students celebrate Heritage Week with history project

The Bowen Island Community School Youth Curator Program was created approximately 15 years ago to help students learn about the island’s history.

Students develop research skills and curiosity through experiential learning that includes going on field trips as well as looking at historic places, photos and artifacts. Youth Curators investigate a topic that excites them and then create a by-youth, for-youth exhibit in the BICS upper foyer that explores, shares and celebrates our local heritage during BC Heritage Week.

This year’s theme is: Layers; the many layers of the Old General Store and its rich history. 

Some of the ideas that the Youth Curators are exploring include learning more about: how the Old General Store was moved and saved; how it was the original site of the Bowen Island gas station; how after the General Store use of the building ended, the site was used for many community events including plays, haunted houses, as a post office, library, coffee houses, BIAC Art Festivals, and more.

Students will select a topic, research it and create something written and/or visual or media-based to be installed in an exhibit in the BICS display case to celebrate Heritage Week and to share what they learned. We’re also visiting the Museum and Archives, and the Higgins’ Cottage over the next few weeks to learn even more about local history, the skills of curating an exhibit, and what stories and artifacts connect us to the history of Bowen Island.

Rather than take students to an exhibit created by adults for youth to view, it is exciting to see an exhibit created by youth, for youth and to see the reaction and level of engagement by all the classes from Kindergarten to Grade 7 when they get to see an exhibit created for them by their fellow BICS students.

The Youth Curators’ exhibit will be open for student viewing during the school day and outside of school time for the general public to see in the upper foyer at BICS from March 1 to 15, and we can’t wait to see this year’s exhibit!

Special thanks to the community volunteers who participated in interviews, to the Youth Curators, and the Bowen Museum and Archives, Bowen Heritage Preservation Association, Decoda Literacy Solutions and The Bowen Island Literacy Task Group for their ongoing support of this program connecting youth to local history.