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All Aboard!
New Web Site Uses Trains to Transport Kids to Canada’s Past

The Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) launched its newest Web site for kids at a playful ceremony amongst the mighty locomotives in the Canada Science and Technology Museum during the March break.

Led by National Librarian Roch Carrier and attended by LAC staff, museum staff and more than two dozen rambunctious children entertained with train paraphernalia supplied by Via Rail, the event was a merry success.

With the home page of the new site behind him and the historic railroads of the past on either side, Mr. Carrier enthralled the children with memories from his past.

"When I was nine I did a bad thing," he said to the kids who sat in rapt silence. "When the train slowed down near our village my friends and I would jump onto the platform and ride it to the next town. That was bad, but I learned how the trains moved through Canada and how Canada was built along the track. They had to build bridges, cut wood and dig tunnels through mountains. Go home and look at the site and tell your parents about what you’ve learned. When you go to school you can tell your friends," Carrier encouraged.

The Web site is an informative, fun and educational initiative for children beginning to learn about Canada’s past. It is easy to access and incorporates songs, pictures and movie clips along with text to provide a comprehensive understanding of the struggle and glory of Canada’s founding technology.

Ten-year-old Nick Faris, of Terry Fox Elementary School, was one of two children chosen to speak at the launch. A French immersion student, Faris delivered an eloquent speech formally addressing Mr. Carrier and the crowd. "There’s a lot of interesting facts about the railway," he declared. "They have a lot of history in Canada." Among his favourite items on the site was the story of the "last spike," which was damaged as it was driven into the track upon completion of Canada’s railway system. Earlier in the launch, museum staff had shown the real last spike to the fascinated children.

This site is well suited for school research and school boards are being alerted of its potential for use in the classroom.

To see the site for yourself, visit online at www.collectionscanada.ca/trains/kids.