WARNING: This story contains images some readers might find disturbing.
Regina's Grant Road Elementary School has a lot of hearts. Deer hearts, to be precise.
For years, teacher Greg Korpan has been using harvested deer organs to offer lessons on human heart health. After a while he started to put the call out to hunters, asking them to donate hearts so that students can get a true hands-on experience.
Korpan said it would be easy enough to show pictures, or videos of the heart, but he said it's a difficult organ to understand "until you're actually experiencing it, feeling it."
When this all began, Korpan would bring the heart of a deer that he hunted and killed. The lesson was so well received that it's grown each year.
"Last year was our most successful year," Korpan said. "I was able to accumulate over 70 hearts, so I did it for our two Grade 8 classes at Grant Road School and for three other classrooms around the city."
"We spend the month of December learning about the heart and how it works and how to make good healthy decisions to help your heart."
Conservation part of the lesson plan
Heart health is not the only lessons delivered by Korpan.
"I think there are some misconceptions about hunters," he said.
"My belief on hunting is that there is so much more than just harvesting animals. It's purchasing tags and entering draw systems where money goes to making sure habitat stays safe…so we have that resource that we can use in the future."
This year, Korpan's call to hunters on social media has been shared more than 700 times. He said he is expecting a large bounty of deer hearts.
Sometimes, lessons that prove popular with children eager to learn can raise eyebrows at home from concerned parents, but that's not so in this case, said Korpan.
"Everything has been super positive and really supportive, I haven't had a negative parent, or parent upset about it, which is a really good thing."