School goes global

Published 10:25 am Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hollandale Christian School children dress up for their Festival of Nations program that is being held today. Back row from left: Nathan Bauers, Bennett Dobberstein, Brody McCornack, Zachary Slegh, Willem Huizinga, Jenna Vos and Ethan Jerdee. Front row from left: Chloe Emberson, Abigail Muller, Emily Bos, Kendra Olson, Grace Pazurek, Maddy Drenth, Braeden Feuerhak and Anna Kuiters. -- Buck Monson/Albert Lea Tribune

HOLLANDALE — Every other year, the Hollandale Christian School has a Festival of Nations event. The tradition started back in 1990, and they do it every other year, making this year the 12th one that they have put on.

“This is a project that is done by the fifth- and sixth-graders,” said teacher Stephanie McCarthy. “We asked the students in the spring which country they want, so they have time to gather the things needed.”

The students are not allowed to have the same country as any of the other students. When the project first started in 1990, about 90 percent of the children picked the Netherlands, being that Hollandale is primarily a Dutch town.

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“In recent years, we decided to open it up and let them choose different countries,” McCarthy said.

The Festival of Nations is when the students pick a country that they want to learn about and they do a 15-page report on it. They then dress up as the natives would in their country of choice and each student has a booth that they set up. In these booths, they will have information and artifacts and they will also serve a food or beverage that is from their country.

The public is welcome to join in on the festivities from 1 to 2 p.m. and from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today. Every one who comes to the event will get a passport, and each student will stamp the passport from their country.

Here is what country each student chose and why:

“My grandparents on my dad’s side went to South Africa and brought back many souvenirs and knowledge, so I was able to learn a lot from them.” — Willem Huizinga

“I picked the Bahamas because I thought it would be fun to do.” — Brody McCornack

“I picked Ireland because my mom’s friend from work was going to Ireland over the summer, and she brought me back a lot of stuff. I also learned more about Ireland because I did so much about it.” — Zachary Slegh

“I chose Costa Rica because my sister Megan was going there for a trip for her class and she brought me home some Costa Rican money and a lot of other stuff.” — Emily Bos

“I chose Belgium because my mom and dad went there for a trip once, and I just thought it would be really cool.” — Ethan Jerdee

“I chose Guam because we have a friend who lived there, and they had some stuff to give to us.” — Braeden Feuerhak

“I picked France because I wanted to learn more about it.” — Nathan Bauers

“I picked my country because my uncle has a job where he travels around the world and he’s been to England a lot of times, and lots of my friends have been to England. Plus, I really like England, and I thought since the Olympics were there that it would be easier to find information on it.” — Kendra Olson

“I chose Peru because I had heard about it but didn’t really know that much about it. One of my mom’s closest friends is a missionary in Peru, and their whole family lives in downtown Lima. I thought it would be really fun to use them as a source, and I could find some artifacts from them.” — Jenna Vos

“I chose the Netherlands because my mom’s family is from there, and my great uncle.” — Chloe Emberson

“I picked Australia because my parents went there in 1993. I’ve always liked Australia because of their animals. I have a movie that was filmed in Australia that I really like.” — Abigail Muller

“I picked Mexico because I’ve never been there, and my parents are going there. I’ve always wanted to go there. There’s probably more, but I can’t think of it right now.” — Madelyn Drenth

“I chose Canada because I thought it would be fun to learn about it and see who founded the country.” — Bennett Dobberstein

“I chose Germany because my grandpa and great-grandpa fought in a war there, and two of my great-grandmas are German.” — Anna Kuiters

“I chose Norway because I thought it would be wonderful to do. They have lefse that you eat, and it’s really good. They have really good cookies there, too.” — Grace Pazurek