Local students learn about cultures of their family trees

FLORENCE, Wisc. — Students at a northeast Wisconsin school recently got a unique opportunity to find out more about the cultures that make up their family tree. That opportunity culminated in today’s Heritage Festival, where Florence Elementary School’s sixth graders showed off what they learned about the nations that have influenced their past.

For the past month and a half, students were tasked with finding out facts about a country of their choice. The primary sources for many of those facts were family members.

“Our goal really is to access grandparents, aunts and uncles, and talk to them about their heritage and history,” said 6th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher Kimberly Cook.

“It was a really fun experience. It was a blast researching and just learning a bunch of new facts about Poland,” Crystal Leffler, who studied Poland, added.

“I learned that on my dad’s side of the family we had a few people who lived in Denmark come down and spend a few months,” said Jacob Smith, who studied Denmark for his project. “It’s fun to learn about that.”

The community was invited into the school to see what the sixth graders had learned. Each student also made a batch of one of their country’s signature foods for all to enjoy. The Heritage Festival is held annually to coincide with lessons about urban life and immigration.