PACT Charter School 6th-graders host Festival of Nations

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

PACT Charter School’s cafetorium became a world stage March 8 as sixth-grade students hosted the school’s annual Festival of Nations March 8.

Fifty-two students selected countries to study before winter break.

After thorough research, students created a board, memorized a speech and wrote a paper.

Students’ families and younger students came to learn more about our world.

Annika Froiland was astounded to learn that Puerto Rico, her chosen country, is not a country at all. It’s a territory of the United States and uses the same currency, she explained.

Inspired by his older brother, Artur Goncharenko chose the same country he did in sixth grade: Jamaica.

“They have the fastest man in the world, and his name is Usain Bolt,” Artur said.

Rebecca Hansen decided to study Nicaragua with family friends from there. She learned that Nicaragua has the only lake in the world with sharks.

Wearing an authentic Kyrgyz hat, Reuben Vinnikov presented on the country where his parents were born, Kyrgyzstan.

Elliot Zimpfer and Paige Zweber were dressed up, too.

Elliot was dressed as Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi and shared the many ways Argentina has been first in the world. The country was the first to use fingerprints to catch criminals as well as the first to make an animated film, legalize same-sex marriage and have a resident born in Antarctica, he said.

Initially, Elliot wanted to research Djibouti, but he was unable to find enough material, so his dad helped him select Argentina.

Paige chose to study Norway because “it’s in my blood a little bit,” she said.

In addition to her own dress, she had dolls wearing “Frozen” costumes because the animated feature is set in Norway, she explained.

Teacher Sam Peltier hopes students took away “a greater understanding of the massive world around them and the knowledge that they are capable of learning about it independently through their own research.”

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Annika Froiland presents on Puerto Rico at PACT Charter School’s Festival of Nations March 8. Photos by Olivia Alveshere Dressed as soccer star Lionel Messi, Elliot Zimpfer shares what he has learned about Argentina. Paige Zweber chose to study Norway because she has a bit of Norwegian blood herself. Reuben Vinnikov’s parents were both born in Kyrgyzstan. Wearing a hat from the country, he shared his knowledge with classmates March 8. Fifty-two PACT sixth-graders shared research on countries of the world with family and friends during PACT’s annual Festival of Nations last week. Elise Kasa tells younger PACT students about Norway. Grant Anderson points to the Indian flag in his spiel about the world’s second-most populous country.
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Fifty-two PACT sixth-graders shared research on countries of the world with family and friends during PACT’s annual Festival of Nations last week.