BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville Elementary students recently used their school-issued passports at their annual Quarters for Cancer Global Celebration.
The event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life as well as the culminating activity of the year's studies of world cultures.
The fundraising part included outdoor activities, each requesting a quarter donation. Students could get their face painted, string beads to make bracelets or participate in the physical education department's obstacle course.
There seemed to be one particularly popular game.
"The ring toss to win sodas," said fifth-grader Joshua Ziske, 11. He won a 2-liter bottle of black cherry soda, a flavor he had never tasted. "I'll try it tonight," he said.
There were treats available for sale, too. Students could buy popcorn, cookies, chips, ice pops and juice boxes.
Second-grader Seth Flores, 8, said his favorite things of the day were "the rice and ice pop." He was referring to the Spanish food available at the festival from Little Havana restaurant.
Inside the cafeteria, students had their passports stamped as they moved from display to display of countries researched by class levels. At each stop, students had to answer a question about the country to earn the stamp.
The kindergarteners studied Australia; first grade did Madagascar; second grade's display was about Peru; third-graders did Italy; fourth-graders studied China; and fifth graders focused on the United States.
Community member Mable Sims, who has collections of items from Mexico, Africa and China, was on hand to share her items with students.
The event was coordinated by global teacher Kathy Gates with the cooperation of Spanish teacher Kimette Ortiz. Both are Fulbright scholars who have traveled overseas on the scholarships to enhance their teaching.
Gates went to China and Ortiz went to Peru. Ortiz wrote a grant to the Hernando County Education Foundation to help fund the festival, which helped them secure Spanish dancers from Dianna's Dance Express and the Spanish food.
The afternoon's activities, Gates said, celebrated a year of hard work and the end of the FCAT. It was "a little fun combined with learning and it's for a good cause. We try to open up the world to them."