Culture fair highlights students’ heritage


By Anne Marie Amacher

Spanish teacher Natalie Markovich demonstrates the art of making homemade pasta to fourth graders Kaylie Caldwell and Sydney Newberry. Markovich is part Italian by heritage and inherited the pasta maker from her grandfather. The demonstration was part of a cultural fair Dec. 13 at All Saints Catholic School in Davenport.

DAVENPORT — Although students didn’t always know when their families came to America or what route they took to get here, they appreciated learning about their family roots during a project led by middle-school students at All Saints Catholic School.
Sixth-graders through eighth-graders hosted a cultural fair Dec. 13 during the day and later that evening for students, parents, relatives and alumni to showcase what they learned about their native countries.
Nearly 30 different countries or Native American tribes were represented in displays in the school gym.
Teacher Sandy Thomson said she assigned the project so students could learn about themselves and their ancestry. The assignment included creation of a tri-fold poster emphasizing three cultural aspects about the country such as traditions, food, clothing, holidays, religion and architecture. Students also wrote a report and made a presentation to classmates prior to the cultural fair.
Seventh-grader Fred Hollings­worth reported on the Lakota Sioux. He estimates he is about 15 percent Native American from his mom’s side of the family. He knew about his heritage, but said he learned some new statistics. He explained that Native Americans have seven rituals that are part of their tradition. One example involves energy. Fred said Native Americans burn a lock of hair in a fire to “get rid of bad energies.

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