Nicole Parke

Nicole Parke

Mission UFV students teaching in Antigua

Two UFV students from Mission are among 18 visiting the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua during May.

A pair of Mission students are among 18 from the University of the Fraser Valley currently visiting the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua to mentor primary school children about life skills.

Nicole Parke, who graduated from Mission secondary, and Shelby Lund, a Hatzic secondary alumni, are both on their second visit of the Champions for Health Promoting Schools program.

Led by UFV instructor Joanna Sheppard, kinesiology and physical education students visit classrooms, engaging in sporting activities that incorporate life skills into the lessons.

The students are divided into pairs between six schools and teach four, 45-minute life lessons daily, such as health education, critical thinking, and goal-setting.

Parke is in charge of planning, running and organizing an event called the Unity Games, similar to Sports Day in Canada. Antiguan children visit a series of stations that focuses on a different life-skill activity.

“We simply run through an activity and then ask how the students felt through the decision-making process,” said Parke. “After they complete the task, we bring them together and go over what they did. We’ll ask them what they learned, and how can they apply that to real life.”

Parke says she’s always loved travelling and teaching, so the opportunity to combine both was irresistible.

Lund, who has been accepted into UFV’s teaching program for September, is using the experience to further her education career.

“What I want to gain from this is more experience teaching children and building my skills and abilities so that I can become the best educator I can be,” she said.

Lund and Parke visit schools not only to teach lessons, but play with the children during break and lunch. They’ve brought soccer balls and footballs, skipping rope and more, but the students aren’t the only ones learning as the children have taught Lund how to play cricket.

Both Mission students have had experience volunteering locally before their trip. Parke has donated her time at MEI Elementary in Abbotsford, while Lund has been to Edwin S. Richards Elementary School. Both have also volunteered at their former high schools.

Parke says learning methods and styles are similar in both countries, with notable differences.

“Antigua as a culture is very touchy-feely, so at school you have tons of kids running up to you wanting hugs and that doesn’t happen in Canada.”

While the program is designed primarily to help children in Antigua, it also aids the UFV students to decide whether to pursue a career in health education, while nurturing a sense of pride and purpose.

“I want to be able to represent the program well and give it a good influence and reputation on the island and in Canada,” said Lund.

Follow the UFV students’ activities at www.ufvtoday.ca/antigua.

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

Just Posted

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

This home at 32228 Buffalo Drive in Mission was all lit up for the holidays in 2019. / Submitted Photo
Tell us about your Christmas light displays in Mission

Holiday-light list to be published online and in newspaper

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

Students at the Chilliwack campus of the University of the Fraser Valley. (Darren MacDonald/ UFV)
UFV asking students to voluntarily report COVID cases and exposures to the school

With COVID cases rising and Fraser Health struggling to keep up, students are asked to help

Jesse Arnett facing off against Pedro Souza on Oct. 30, 2020. Arnett defeated Souza by unanimous decision. His record stands at 17 wins and 6 losses, with 14 finishes. / Gerardo Ramos photo.
Road to the Big Show: Mission Secondary’s wrestling champ speaks about his journey through MMA

Jesse ‘Big Cat’ Arnett was Mission’s 1st National Wresting Champion, now a top-ranked 135 fighter

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

File
LETTER: Public should provide feedback on Mission’s proposed budget

Writer feels more community push back is needed to stop annual property tax increases

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Letter
LETTER: Development will change area forever

Project on Hurd and 7th Ave. doesn’t sit well with at least one reader

Most Read