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Around the world with MMS

Meyer Middle School seventh graders presented a Festival of Nations on Thursday, May 29, in the school gym. After months of research the students created display boards, gave out food samples and dressed in native costumes. Elisa Putzier (shown) said she picked Nepal because she used to do a dance that was native to that area. She said the most interesting thing she learned was that most of Nepal’s land consists of mountains. She is the daughter of John and Shelly Putzier. 1 / 10
Holding a stein during the May 29 Festival of Nations is Matthew Chapin. He said he chose Germany because he loves bratwurst and his mom has visited the country. Chapin said he was surprised that German citizens have a longer life expectancy than U.S. citizens. Chapin is the son of Mark and Cary Chapin.2 / 10
Wearing a patterned cloth dress and face paint, Eryn Herrera, took guests at the May 29 Festival of Nations on a trip to Madagascar. She said that she was surprised to learn that 75% of the animals found in Madagascar are not found in any other location in the world. Herrera is the daughter of Joe and Meg Herrera. 3 / 10
Earlier this year seventh graders at Meyer Middle School picked the countries they wanted to research for the May 29 Festival of Nations. Nathan Johnson said that he initially picked Senegal because the name sounded cool. He said he later found out that it is one of the most peaceful nations in Africa. Johnson, the son of Jeff and Ann Johnson, said he did not realize that Senegal had so many different ethnic groups -- about nine. 4 / 10
Wearing vampire teeth and standing by her lighted display board, Ariana Porcello said she picked Romania because of its vampire history. She said she was surprised to learn how much Romania is like the U.S. Porcello is the daughter of Michael and Susan Porcello.5 / 10
Having ancestors that came from Norway was the reason that MMS seventh grader Bobby Tulgren chose Norway to research for the annual Festival of Nations. During the May 29 festival, Tulgren said that the most interesting thing he learned about the country of his heritage was that it had the longest road tunnel in the world. He is the son of Robert and Heidi Tulgren.6 / 10
Like many at the MMA Festival of Nations, Liam Armstrong chose Scotland because of his heritage. He said that the country boasts a lot of different castles. Armstrong said Scotland also had many wars of independence. His parents are Andrew and Heather Armstrong.7 / 10
Home to the second largest theme park in the world, South Korea was the Festival of Nations project for Katie Myers. The seventh grader said she picked the nation because that was where she was born. Myers is the daughter of Chris Myers and Stacy Johnson Myers.8 / 10
The multi-month Festival of Nations project involved making intricate displays. Seventh grader Charlie Jerry said it took many hours to make the nameplate on his display. The son of David and Jenny Jerry said that he picked Thailand because it was very pretty and tropical. He said he was interested in learning about its government -- a constitutional monarchy.9 / 10
Wearing a “keffiyeh,” Jack Decheine stood by his Festival of Nations display on Saudi Arabia. During the May 29 presentation he said he learned that women in the country are not treated very well. Decheine is the son of Jason and Laura Decheine.10 / 10

Seventh graders from Blue House at Meyer Middle School held a Festival of Nations on the morning of Thursday, May 29. Students spent months researching different countries. Gold House students held its own festival Thursday afternoon.

During the Thursday morning festival students displayed information about the country, as well as dressed in ethnic costumes and served food. Parents, grandparents and guests traveled throughout the gym, which was sectioned off into continents, learning about the different countries and sampling food.

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
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