Mount Alvernia Academy is blessed to have enthusiastic families that share their time and talents with our students. MAA parent and alumni parent, Matthew Janchar, a history buff and talented storyteller, stopped by campus the other day to share a story he wrote with MAA’s fifth-grade class. He first read the story to his eldest son’s class three years ago and could not wait to read it again for his second son.
Mr. Janchar’s story tells the tale of two boys from different cultures who learn the importance of lending a helping hand and the power of kindness. Bartholomew Allerton of Delfsham, Netherlands is a pilgrim aboard the Mayflower and Motuckquas is a Wampanoag boy of the same age living on Cape Cod.
When the hungry and desperate pilgrims take the Wampanoag’s winter food supplies during an expedition, the situation begins to look dire. Bartholomew feels terrible about what he has done, knowing he has taken someone else’s food and the Wampanoag people are righteously angry and worried about how they will survive the winter. Motuckquas is scared and feels bad for the people who stole their food, realizing that they must have been very hungry.
By chance, Motuckquas runs into Bartholomew hiding in a tree, crying. Full of pity for Bartholomew, Motuckquas gives him some food and tries to tell him it will be okay. Though they cannot understand one another, Motuckquas’ gesture calms Bartholomew and he gives Motuckquas his helmet in return. Motuckquas takes the helmet to his village and tells his story, imploring his community to be kind to the visitors. They agree with him and decide to help the pilgrims.
This wonderful story is a great example of the importance of sharing our gifts with others and always being kind. It paints a vivid picture of Massachusetts history that truly brought the past alive for our students. Furthermore, Mr. Janchar’s narrative and all the research that went into writing it exemplifies what it means to be a lifelong learner. No matter what we do in life, we should always strive to learn more and look to share our passions with others.
Mr. Janchar told his tale with the help of his son, who ran the slideshow that accompanied the story. Thank you, Mr. Janchar, for sharing your gift of storytelling and writing with our fifth-grade class and bringing history to life.