Paul Finklestein, Stratford Northwestern Secondary School teacher (Bob Montgomery photo)

Stratford-Area Students Return From Nunavut

A group of high school students from the Stratford-area recently returned from a trip to Nunavut.

Paul Finklestein is the Culinary Arts teacher at Stratford Northwestern and has been taking students to isolated northern communities for a few years.

The goal of the EatFit Project is to teach indigenous students how to prepare healthy and nutritious meals. But Finklestein says it turns into something much more than that. He says preparing food and eating it together opens the doors for many opportunities and he says the people they meet up north are fantastic.

Finklestein says the feedback he gets confirms that the students up north are excited about meeting students from the south and the friendships usually continue on Facebook long after they return home.

“The people in the north are absolutely fantastic,” says Finklestein. “The students are wonderful and it’s a chance for our kids to step out of the madness of the south, everything that goes on down here and to go into an area where friendship is in front of your face and all you need to do is say ‘Hi’ and you’ve got your best friend forever.”

Finklestein says he usually takes about twelve students per trip but he has taken as many as thirty. He says students from any of the Avon Maitland schools are eligible and anyone interested should contact their guidance counsellor or contact him at Stratford Northwestern Secondary School.