A picture’s worth a thousand words, but what about a poem? Especially one sent to Pope Francis, who receives about 30 large mail sacks a week.

For the grade 5 and 6 students of St. Paul Catholic Elementary School and Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School in Timmins, this special mail meant quite a lot.

Although brought together to handwrite a heartfelt book of poetry for the Pope, teachers say the project’s goal was bigger than a papal reply.

Come September, the students will be consolidated into one school, aptly named Pope Francis Catholic Elementary School. To make the transition less intimidating, teachers designed this exercise to help build relationships between the students in advance of the merger.

“They’re going to get an idea of some of the friends that they will be seeing next year,” said Stephanie Salvati, Grade 5/6 teacher  at Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School. “And it’s a bit of team building too.”

The project also helped to educate the students on who Pope Francis is, and all  that he does for the Roman  Catholic Church. Teachers expect the students to  unify faster with their newly shared attachment and  understanding towards the  school’s namesake.

While the students involved are anxious to see if they will get a response back,  the teachers know the project  was deeply worthwhile all the same: a true  demonstration the collaborative nature of our schools.

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