News Release

Las Posadas Celebration Offers Learning Experience

Entren, Santos Peregrinos,
reciban este rincón,
que aunque es pobre la morada,
os la doy de corazón.

Enter, holy pilgrims,
receive this corner,
for though this dwelling is poor,
I offer it with all my heart.

The call and response was recited as children made their way to each of Trinity’s residence halls on December 10 during the traditional Las Posadas processional to celebrate Christmas.

Trinity education students organized the reenactment of the journey of Mary and Joseph and following celebration for children of faculty members and local residents as part of their bilingual/ESL final project. Students from other program areas also participated in planning the event.

Las Posadas
Traditionally, the parade stops at designated houses to sing a traditional litany to request shelter for the night but are repeatedly turned away. At the last stop, they are told there is no room in the posada (inn) but are welcome to take refuge in the stable.

Trinity students, dressed as Mary and Joseph, led the visiting children on the quest for “lodging in Bethlehem,” their path lit only by the battery-operated candles they held.

“I was impressed with the level of thought and organization that the students put into the evening,” said Bill Boerman-Cornell, assistant professor of education. “It was a great way for the children to learn about how a different culture celebrates Christmas.”

The procession ended with the breaking of the piñata in Alumni Hall.

The Learning Experience
As part of the project, education students assessed the children to gauge their knowledge, then following the event asked them to record their impressions in words and drawings.

Nine-year-old Emma Mattson, daughter of Drs. Craig and Rhoda Mattson, associate professor of communication arts and associate professor of education, respectively, offered some interesting insights with her creation titled “Bethlehem Traveling,” including, “If you are planning to reject Mary and Joseph, always have candy to make up for it.”

But the event was an even greater learning experience for Trinity’s education students who were given the opportunity by Trina Vallone ’99, assistant professor of education, to construct their own semester final.

“Witnessing the students plan, collaborate, and carry out this project was one of those magic teaching moments I love so much,” said Vallone. “This always comes from students when you empower them to construct their learning.”

Participating Trinity Students
Emily Botkin ’09 of Columbus, Ohio
Lisa Brearley ’10 of Caledonia, Michigan
Allison DeGroot ’10 of Byron Center, Michigan
Michelle Fugger ’09 of New Lenox, Illinois
Kelly Kamp ’09 of Tinley Park, Illinois
Leanne Koetje ’10 of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Leah Pizza ’10 of Frankfort, Illinois
Anna Poll ’09 of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Gloria Toscano ’08 of Sun Valley, California
Rebecca Vander Wilt ’09 of Freeport, Illinois
Kimberly Verhagen ’10 of Monee, Illinois

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