A Walking Tour and A Final Farewell
Published: June 10, 2013
St. Mary's and St. Matthews 4th graders took a historic walking tour. During their 3-4 mile walk they saw many of Bellevue's historic landmarks. 4th graders do this each year to learn more about the history in their own back yard. And Bellevue has quite a history. This year's walk was extra special for the St. Mary's students who met the parents of their Korean student, JuWeon Kim, just prior to her departure. JuWeon's parents arrived a few days earlier, eager to see their daughter who had been in America since last August.
Everyone visited the old brick bank building off of East Mission Street, the old log cabin whose last resident was Mrs. Mountain, the Old Presbyterian Church (where they learned that the NETV movie of Standing Bear was filmed inside) and Bellevue's Cemetery where they prayed over the grave of what is believed to be a pioneer child.
The highlight of the annual walk is lunch and recess in Washington Park after the long trek! This year's lunch was a BBQ provided by the generosity of both Baker's Supermarket and parents. A big thank you to St. Matthews' School parents, who grilled for us all, set up the food and put it all away.
This year, however, lunch wasn't the highlight. St. Mary's students had made special gifts for JuWeon and her parents. Each student drew a Nebraska themed quilt square and wrote a farewell message on the back squares. Thanks to the skill and generosity of Mrs. Kimsey, the quilt was completed and presented to JuWeon's parents as a reminder of not only her time with the 4th grade class but a reminder of some important aspects of Nebraska's history. Though communication was difficult, the love and hard work put into the quilt's making was understood. Everyone had a great time, especially when Mr. and Mrs. Kim joined the students on the teeter-totter!
Their journey continued with a walk to the Columban Fathers. Fr. Charles O'Rourke spoke not only to the students but since he spent 40 years in Korea, he was able to speak to Mr. Mrs. Kim in their native tongue. Father also showed the students their chapel and Mrs. Frans Lang surprised everyone with freshly made popcorn and cookies.
Revitalized by the snacks, everyone continued on down the street to school where St. Matthew's students departed and St. Mary's students gathered with grades 5-7 for a small farewell assembly for all of St. Mary's Korean students. As part of their citizenship class, the 5th graders sang the national anthem and presented St. Mary's Christmas ornaments and hand made patriotic fleece blankets to JiWoo, JB and JuWeon.
Then it was time for a final farewell as JuWeon and JB were leaving for a tour of New York City. Hugs, a few tears and well wishes ended the last full day of school. It had indeed been a long and memorable day. We pray that JuWeon remembers all of us as we won't forget our Korean classmate! For more photos from the walking tour click here.