Cathedral students touch the worldSome of Cathedral School’s youngest students traveled the world this spring, sampling the cultures of 26 different countries through a geography project.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Some of Cathedral School’s youngest students traveled the world this spring, sampling the cultures of 26 different countries through a geography project.
Teacher Arlene Nordeen handed the name of a country and directions to each of her students, not realizing what she would get back.
“They just took it and flew with it,” she said. “These kids are unbelievable.”
Three-fold boards, three-dimensional poster boards and colorful artwork filled one corner of the kindergarten room Tuesday.
A bead shaped like a soccer ball, tiny bells and a raised pawprint could be found on Elise DeGraef’s England poster. The 6-year-old said her mother helped her as she learned about English festivals, sports and food. When asked what she learned, the Elise chose a royal fact.
“They celebrate the Queen’s birthday on two days in a row,” she said.
Aili Arnovich tapped into her family history when researching the former country of Yugoslavia, which is now split into a number of smaller countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.
“My mom told me about my great-grandpa,” the 6-year-old said. Aili’s great-grandfather came to the U.S. from Yugoslavia and settled in Superior.
To study the Yugoslavian culture, Aili viewed family treasures — a doll, a cloth for the table and a machine to grind nuts — and shared Yugoslavian bread with the class.
“My grandma made it and brought it to school,” she said.
She remembered the country has farming and open markets. Although the Yugoslavian flag is red, white and blue, Aili said, but “Their flag is different from ours.”
Zoe Schnell also used her taste buds to explore Belgium. With help from her mother, she made a family specialty — Belgian waffles.
“They taste pretty good,” Zoe said. She recalled that there are three languages spoken in Belgium — Dutch, French and German.
Thailand is the largest exporter of rice and 5,000 different types of rice are grown there, according to Rafe Homich, 6. His poster included a colorful picture of elephants as well as a handful of “mango sticky rice” and chili peppers.
To top off the trip, students reached across the globe to help orphans in Tanzania. They collected clothes, shoes, art supplies, toys and more for an orphanage run by the African Benedictine Sisters of St. Agnes. The items will travel with 14 students from the College of St. Scholastica in June. Every other year students from the college go over to work at schools, orphanages and dispensaries in Tanzania.
The college student’s work helps “stretch them and enrich their knowledge of people from other countries,” said Sister Martha Bechtold of the St. Scholastica Monastery.
She paid a visit to Nordeen’s class to tell them about the people and culture of Tanzania. The students were one step ahead of her.
“They were able to show me where Tanzania was on the map,” Bechtold said.
She taught them a few Swahili words, showed them some Tanzanian items and left a picture of one of the orphans, Paulu, playing with a ball.
Donations for the trip began to pour in. Zoe, who enjoys art, brought pencils and markers for the children to color with. Elise’s family sent baby clothing and blankets. Jacob Guenard, 6, brought a baseball bat and ball.
“That’s for Paulu,” he said.
The students said that flags and languages may be different but kids are kids no matter where they live.