It looked like a typical Posada celebration at The University of Texas Elementary School (UTES) on Dec. 3. Rows of different colored tissue paper cut-outs adorned the cafeteria ceiling, students were festively attired, and there was music and great food. But the annual Latin American tradition took on a global flair with food and decorations representing many cultures including Mexican, Puerto Rican, Moroccan and Chinese.
Posada is a yearly tradition for many Latin Americans. “This year we wanted to make Posada different; we wanted to incorporate all the different cultures that we share here at UT Elementary,” said Maria Estela Rafonne, bilingual teaching assistant and coordinator of Posada. She explained that it was also a way to provide students, staff and parents a sense of community within the school.
The event was a learning experience, too, for the 260 UTES students. It featured different cultural stations decorated to reflect how each culture celebrates the December holiday season. The students got to learn and share what various cultures eat and wear as part of their holiday traditions. Parents prepared all of the food for the celebration, and students sang Christmas carols in several languages to the delight of smiling parents and family members.
“Posada was an extraordinary combination of culture, community and learning,” said Dr. Ben Kramer, principal. “It was so moving to hear the voices of our students and staff ringing out in the night and bringing us all together.”
Dr. Kramer added, “Posada could not happen without the entire support of the school, from the administrative staff to the students working together as a community to produce great events that teach the importance of family, togetherness and support.”
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