Of Ladybugs and Codfish: St. Peter Academy Students Learn Massachusetts Government

By Lisa Gilbert

On a brisk November morning, the fourth and fifth grade students of St. Peter Academy took the redline subway train from South Boston to the Massachusetts State House. Walking up the path through the Common, students spotted the great golden dome on top of the State House and were impressed with its structure. “Is that real gold?” one student mused. “Do people really work in there?” asked another. Once inside, the group was welcomed by Massachusetts Senator Nick Collins, a South Boston native and an alumnus of our predecessor, St. Peter School. Mr. Collins gladly shared with our students his journey from South Boston boy to the Massachusetts Senate.

The students toured the state house learning many interesting facts about the Commonwealth. Being children, they honed in on the facts that meant the most to them, like the fact that there is a huge Codfish hanging in the House of Representatives Hall, affectionately known as the Sacred Cod. The students seemed to really enjoy that bit of trivia. They also learned that any citizen or citizens of the state can initiate a law. Known as the Freedom to Petition, the students learned that a few years ago some second graders petitioned to the State House to make the Ladybug the official state bug. Their petition was successful, resulting in the rise of the Ladybug! Learning that children just like them had had a major influence in our legislative body was eye opening and empowering for our fourth and fifth graders. At St. Peter Academy, we consider Boston and all its offerings to be our extended classroom. Visiting the home of our local government is all in a day’s learning for us.

St. Peter Academy is a family oriented, forward thinking learning community providing academic excellence while educating the whole child. We are now enrolling students from fifteen months to sixth grade. Please call or stop by for a visit. 617-268-0750. We are located at 371 W. Fourth St. South Boston.