New York schoolchildren prepare for meeting with pope

Harlem students prepare to meet the Pope 02:09

NEW YORK - Children have been drawn to Pope Francis and he will be visiting some schoolkids in Harlem on Friday.

For weeks, students at Our Lady Queen of Angels have learned all about Pope Francis.

Third-grader Allison Reyes is one of six students from the school chosen by lottery to meet with him.

"The pope really likes taking care of the poor and likes taking care of the environment and he really loves kids," Allison told CBS News.

Eight year old Pedro Hernandez can't wait to show the pope his project on the environment.

"In this school we are recycling and we aren't wasting energy because we are opening the windows so that we do not have to use the fan," Pedro said.

Third grader Aaron Diaz wonders about the lung problems the pope suffered decades ago.

"I want to ask him how could he still survive after he has only one lung and a half," Aaron said.

Ngueubou Kamwa and Nicholas Marronaro are in fourth grade and have more modern concerns.

Ngueubou told CBS News he wants to ask the pope whether he knows the difference between a selfie and a photo.

Nicholas, when asked whether he thinks the pope has a cell phone, said, "I don't know if he does. He probably has a flip one because he probably doesn't want to spend too much money on getting unnecessary stuff..."

The pope's humility has left an impression.

"They offered him a big home in Rome and he didn't want to take it. He took a little house instead. He thought it was too fancy," Ngueubou said.

Still, some kids do have earthly matters to discuss with the holy father.

Aaron Diaz has a special request from his dad: "He wants me to ask him to pray for the Mets so that they can get into the playoffs," Aaron told CBS News.

When asked whether he plans on doing so, Aaron said, "I guess so."

In the middle of a highly choreographed trip, the pope is also making a statement -- by making time for these children and their unscripted moments.

  • Elaine Quijano
    Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.