As of Tuesday, February 9, 2016
GRANGEVILLE It was a whole new world — or at least a new country — at the Centennial Evangelical Free Church Friday, Jan. 29.
A group of home-schooled students came together to present a “World’s Fair” open house event. Seven students of homeschool educator Kathleen Walker as well as a variety of other students came together to present information on a country of their choosing.
Participants included Jesse and Mari Schwartz with Germany; Naomi Connolley with Australia; Baeli Kinsley with Sri Lanka; Dane Kinsley with Wales; Isaiah Fuerstenau (with help from mom, Sarah, and siblings) with Norway; Levi, Lydia and Bethany Stowell with Japan; Patrick McGuigan with Romania; Rose Sherrer with France; Emmy Williams with Chile; Ethan O’Leary with Ireland; Clarissa Stevens with Argentina; Gaven Gibleau with South Korea; Aiden Acton with Portugal; and Jolynn, Jessica and Justin Mallory (with help from dad, Kevin) with Iceland.
“I actually learned a lot about China,” smiled Kate Foster, 9, who enjoys collecting items from other countries and was able to display several of those items with the project she and her sister, Maggie, 7, completed.
A happy side note to the Foster sister story was their finding of two silky Chinese outfits at Syringa Thrift Shop.
“And we got them on the 50 percent off rack,” laughed mom, Rachel.
Naomi Connolley, grade seven, said she decided on Australia as her mother’s brothers have lived there and her own brother spent time there.
Seventh grader Baeli Kinsley gave a thorough three-minute overview of Ski Lanka, saying she chose the country simply because “it sounded interesting.”
“Sri Lanka actually has the highest literacy rate in Asia,” she finished, offering homemade curried rice samples following her presentation.
Clarissa Stevens chose her country because her sister spent time in Argentina, which she said is well-known for its beef.
“The tango is the national dance,” the seventh grader explained, offering sample cookies with dulce de leche, “which is used on many sweet items.”
“Germany is about the size of Montana,” stated Jesse Schwartz, who presented his project with sister, Mari. Each is in the fourth grade. The two helped their mom make small pretzels.
Ten-year-old Isaiah Fuerstenau and his mom, Sarah, gave demonstrations of how to roll, cook and eat lefse, a thin potato pancake.
“It’s a traditional Norwegian treat I learned to make from my mother-in-law,” she explained. “We usually make it around Christmastime.”
Isaiah explained his last name is German but the family also has Norwegian ancestry.
Students in Walker’s class were graded on their projects and presentations while other students presented for fun or as part of their own particular home-school curriculum.
“It’s a lot of fun for them to be able to present to the public and share what they have learned,” Rachel Foster added.