Pope Francis' visit to the United States is just days away

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In preparation of his historic stop, local Catholic schools are incorporating his visit into their curriculum. (KFSN)

Pope Francis' visit to the United States is just days away. In preparation of his historic stop, local Catholic schools are incorporating his visit into their curriculum.

At St. Anthony's Catholic School in Fresno students are getting an in-depth lesson on a major event happening next week -- the Pope's visit to American soil. After getting quizzed in class, sixth graders are researching the Pope's well-known quotes as part of their homework. Sixth grade teacher

Erin Silverio said, "Once they have the quotes we're going to be making prayer cards and on the prayer cards they're going to design their own picture of Pope Francis and then write one of their favorite quotes on the bottom of that."

Next week, the Argentina-born Pope will be making an historic visit to New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. It's the first time a Pope has visited the U.S. in 16 years.

Fourth grade teacher Martha Peerson said, "We wanted to do something to help the kids maybe sort of grasp this because this is a unique situation."

Martha Peerson's fourth graders are researching unique facts about Pope Francis.

Eleven-year-old Mia Kusch said, "We're learning about Pope Francis and seeing more about his culture and some new facts about him."

Everything from learning the Pope has brothers and sisters to the fact that he loves soccer.

Peerson said, "So they can relate that a Pope isn't someone who just sits someplace in the Vatican and decrees all these rules but has some personal input for them."

Students are also taking part in a nationwide social media project with "Flat Francis."

Eighth grade teacher Kim Cochran said, "This particular Flat Francis will be traveling to classrooms and students and small groups and large groups will take their picture."

And next week, teachers will be live-streaming his public appearances in the classrooms.

Principal Susannah Nelson said, "I think he reaches all people with his message of compassion of love, of treating all with dignity -- all humans -- and of course that's something we inspire our children to be, as well."

Over the next week the students will also be doing some art projects that have to do with the Pope's visit and writing letters to the Pope. All with the hope that the children understand the importance of this historic visit.



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