Education

This sixth-grader thinks it’s ‘common sense’ to help his community

Student of the week Alex DiGiovanni

Alex DiGiovanni is a sixth grade student at the Cathedral campus of Notre Dame Academy in Belleville, IL, in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO who helps with the school’s annual auction, plays the clarinet and saxophone, and plans to attend Bel
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Alex DiGiovanni is a sixth grade student at the Cathedral campus of Notre Dame Academy in Belleville, IL, in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO who helps with the school’s annual auction, plays the clarinet and saxophone, and plans to attend Bel

Alex DiGiovanni enjoys lending a hand when he can, especially with the annual auction at the Cathedral campus of Notre Dame Academy in Belleville.

It provides an outlet for the math and science enthusiast to explore his creative side.

“We work on setting up all the decorations like the background for the auction project,” said Alex, who’s in the sixth grade.

For example, one year they did an ocean theme. “There was a bunch of sea life, and we got a bunch of artificial sand,” Alex said.

Another year they did a volcano theme, which included a volcano made out Styrofoam.

The theme for this year’s auction on April 1 is “A Night on the Town.”

Alex enjoys helping with the auction every year. “You have a say in what sort of creativity is involved with these projects,” he said.

Because the community does so much for us so it makes sense to give back and help people who may be in need. It’s just kind of common sense.

Alex DiGiovanni, sixth-grader at Notre Dame Academy

Alex also volunteered at a Thanksgiving meal provided to the homeless and others.

“I was trying to entertain the people with music,” he said, by playing the clarinet.

Alex plans to attend Althoff High School in Belleville, but is still undecided on his college choice.

Social studies teacher Sandy Casson says Alex keeps her on the top of her game.

“He’s a very intelligent student. He’s an inquisitive student,” she said. “I like that he always ask questions. He might bring something new to a lesson that I might not have thought of myself.”

Q: Why is it important to volunteer and give back to your community?

A: “Because the community does so much for us, so it makes sense to give back and help people who may be in need. It’s just kind of common sense.”

Q: What do you enjoy most about giving back?

A: “The satisfaction of helping someone else is probably the best part about it.”

Q: What do you enjoy about being on the school’s scholar bowl team?

A: “I get to put my knowledge to use.”

Q: What do you like about playing volleyball and basketball?

A: “It’s fun, and it gets you exercise.”

Q: What instruments do you play for the school band?

A: “Originally, I picked the clarinet. ... I picked the saxophone, because one my brother A.J. also plays it, and two, jazz is my favorite kind of music.”

Q: Do you like the clarinet or the saxophone more?

A: “The saxophone since it’s more well-known.”

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: “I think I want to be a scientist and also an astronomer.”

Q: What got you interested in science and astronomy?

A: “My favorite subjects are science and math, and the two are tied into one another a lot. My brothers have been teaching me a lot about math over the years. I think it’s just a good thing to major in because there’s also the outside world of space to be explored.”

Jamie Forsythe: 618-239-2562, @BND_JForsythe

Meet Alex DiGiovanni

  • Age: 12
  • Grade: Sixth
  • School: Cathedral campus of Notre Dame Academy in Belleville
  • Lives in: Shiloh
  • Parents: Aimee and Joe DiGiovanni
  • Siblings: A.J., 20, who attends University of Chicago; Amy, 23, who lives in San Francisco, and J.D., 25, who also lives in California
  • Pets: Cat named Skittles
  • Hobbies: Playing music and video games
  • Favorite TV show: “The Simpsons”
  • Favorite restaurant: Bella Milano
  • Favorite music: Jazz
  • Favorite subjects: Math and science
  • School activities: Volleyball, basketball team, scholar bowl and band
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