Students explore heritage


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — More than 50 countries were represented during a culture fair at All Saints Catholic School on April 24.

Anne Marie Amacher
Sixth-grader Lizzy Henderschott shows off her display on Poland at the All Saints Catholic School culture fair April 24 in Davenport.

Sandy Thomson, grades 6-8 social studies teacher, said the project is part of a unit on migration. Sixth- and seventh-graders were encouraged to complete a project on a country that is part of their heritage. Eighth-graders were asked to create projects on countries not explored by the sixth- and seventh-graders to show a wider variety. Thomson encouraged the eighth-graders to choose newer countries or countries unfamiliar to many people.

Eighth-graders Tayla Slack and Annabelle Costello chose Latvia “because it sounded interesting.”


Annabelle said that country is known for its folk music. “When you arrive in the country, you are greeted with folk music.” Tayla said Latvia is also known for its gingerbread, especially at Christmas.

Sixth-grader Lizzy Henderschott chose Poland, the native land of one of her grandfathers. “He and his family lived there and eventually came to the United States.” Her grandfather owns more than 1,000 glass-blown Christmas ornaments. She had a box that contained a dozen for display. Picking up one of the ornaments, she noted that the type of ornament cap indicates where an ornament was made.

While working on her project, Lizzy learned that St. Faustina and St. John Paul II were from Poland. She also learned that 90 percent of the people are Catholic and that the Polish people put ketchup on their pizza.

Galvin Schnapper chose to go with the German line in his heritage. His family is originally from the Berlin area. He learned that the system of government is different than in the U.S. The chancellor, not the president, runs the country. Sports, especially soccer, are popular. Many famous European athletes are from Germany. Eating gummy bears at his display, he pointed out that Germany is well known for its Haribo gummy bears.

Having an uncle from the Czech Republic inspired seventh-grader Nate Parchert’s project. His uncle Frank was born in Prague, migrated to Serbia, lived in a refugee camp in Italy and then came to the U.S.

The famous Infant of Prague statue (featuring an ornately decorated infant Jesus holding a gold orb in his left hand while his right hand is raised) is a product of the Czech Republic, and so are marionette puppets. Nate said the life-size puppets became popular during times of war as there was not much entertainment.

Projects were displayed in the gym, cafeteria and hallway. Classes from throughout the school provided singing and dancing. Food samples from various countries were available for sampling.

“This is something the students look forward to doing,” Thomson said of the culture fair.

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