Borromeo students learn about Native American heritage

November 21, 2007 at 1:31 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Borromeo students learn about Native American heritage
St. Charles Borromeo students participated in an event called the potlatch that centered on Native American culture and included a historical depiction of events right before the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We started doing the potlatch about 14 years ago," Lisa Benoit, a school teacher said. "It's a celebration based on the Northwest Indians and it's an opportunity to show the wealth of talented students and faculty at the school."
Children created authentic scenes and performed various stage plays, sang songs and danced performances.

"Our sixth and seventh graders created four types of Native American villages and made them as historically accurate as possible to coincide with the times," Benoit said. "The festival is outdoors under the trees, and the fall leaves create the atmosphere."

Benoit says all grade levels participated.
"We had our students as young as 3-years-old dressed in costume and performing too," she said.

Benoit says a teacher at the school is awarded a gift as part of the celebration. That gift is a symbol of the potlatch.

"Every year we honor one of our staff members and her special talent," she said. "This year we honored Rose Gandolfi, who teaches second grade. She's very calm and she's a wonderful role model with a great personality."
Benoit says Gandolfi always goes the extra mile for students.

"She takes time out to tutor kids in her spare time, and she sets a good example for other teachers teaching at the school."

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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