Members of Homecoming Court visit elementary schools

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2017

By Sarah Kocher

Albert Lea High School senior and homecoming court member Sydney Doran held out her iPhone to a group of third-graders. Small, cartoonish turtle stickers march along the bottom of her phone case in a short line.

“I like turtles, too,” she said.

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Doran and fellow senior and Homecoming Court member Calvin Petersen both visited Lakeview Elementary School at lunchtime Tuesday as part of Homecoming festivities taking place all week. Other court members visited other elementary schools.

This is how Doran learned that the elementary school students were excited to video chat with turtle experts later in October.

“It was nonstop talking, but it was so much fun,” Doran said. “It was so fun to relate to them because we went here, too.”

Lakeview Principal Nick Sofio said visits from the Homecoming Court, which this year were organized by the high school student council, are a good opportunity for fostering connections between the schools.

Calvin Petersen bonds with another Calvin during lunchtime at Lakeview Elementary. Sarah Kocher/Albert Lea Tribune

“I think it’s a good way to build that partnership,” Sofio said.

Petersen said the visit makes Homecoming Week fun for all ages.

“It just kind of gets everyone involved,” he said.

Lakeview third-grader Mia Ciavarelli said she was glad the high-schoolers came to interact.

“I love it, because I really want to learn what they actually do there,” Ciavarelli said.

For the elementary school kids, Sofio said, this interaction continues to teach them the value of community.

“I think it really comes back to community in many ways,” Sofio said. “… To be able to bring some of our high school students down to visit us during lunch, it just enhances that family feel.”

The high-schoolers, too, have a takeaway: engagement, socializing and learning how to get children excited about things, Sofio said.

It’s learning, “How do you interact with others in that leader role?” Sofio said.

Fifth-grader Devin Gonzalez had a different idea. What are the high-schoolers learning?

“Probably patience,” he said.

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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