“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”
At Trinitas, we offer a variety of events and extracurricular activities which we believe complement our curriculum and help to build community and a culture in which students delight in learning, a culture in which they can “play amongst lovely things.”
Events marked with an * fulfill an extracurricular requirement. Please see the school handbook for requirements and the calendar for dates.
Trinitas students and friends are invited to join us for a week of art camp each summer. Our master art teacher guides students in an exploration of great artists and their art while giving them the opportunity to create their own works of art using a wide variety of media. In addition to working with various types of paints and other more traditional materials, art camp students have made their own paper from recycled materials, created Chagall-inspired horse sculptures and Van Gogh-inspired trees, “painted” with tissue paper, explored food art, and even produced their own stop-motion animation movies. The week culminates in an art show immediately following the last class.
Seventh and eighth grade Trinitas students have the privilege for a weekend backpacking and camping trip led by Nathan and Mia Helweg of Altus Adventures. (Nathan taught PE at Trinitas for a year). This trip takes place in the early fall and provides an excellent and fun opportunity for students to form and strengthen bonds of friendship, set goals for the upcoming school year, and enjoy God’s creation. Students leave Friday after school and return to school Sunday afternoon. To learn more about Altus Adventure, go tohttp://www.altusadventures.com/.
Book Character Day
Each year, Thoughtful Reader Book Club sponsors Book Character Day. Students leave their uniforms at home and come to school dressed like their favorite book characters (or Biblical or historical figures). Each student writes a brief paragraph with clues about his or her character and story in order to play a guessing game at break. It’s great fun, and the students come home eager to read new books.
We are mindful that our service to others is service unto Christ. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. …I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:34-36, 40. Each December the Trinitas community takes the opportunity to serve those in need by participating in the work of a local charity. We currently alternate years working with Operation Christmas Child and Mel Trotter’s Mitten Tree. Both young and old are encouraged to participate.
Christmas Lessons and Carols
Both full-time and part-time students in music class have the opportunity to present a program of Advent and Nativity-themed music and readings. This event takes place the morning of the last Friday before Christmas break. Family and friends are encouraged to attend.
Donuts with Dad
Dads are encouraged to come early and enjoy donuts, coffee, and juice with their children before school. This event takes place in September each year, at 7:30am.
Trinitas is excited to offer a small ensemble for 5th through 8th grade students interested in singing more challenging pieces. This group of students practices after school one day per week while preparing for the Christmas Lessons and Carols and our spring Fine Arts Night. No previous experience is required.
All full-time and part-time Trinitas students and their younger siblings are invited to participate in our annual field day, the Friday morning before Memorial Day (dismissal will be at 11:15 that day). Teachers and students compete in a variety of athletic events including relay races, free-throw, water balloon toss, and plunger (aka javelin) throw. Parents are encouraged to help out, cheer the teams on, and participate in the annual adult vs. kids tug-o-war (we need all the help we can get!).
Trinitas students attend numerous field trips throughout the year, and parents and siblings are often welcome to join us. Past trips have included Grand Rapids Symphony and Ballet performances, a Medieval Village, Camp Roger winter exploration, Dead Sea Scrolls and Leonardo da Vinci exhibits, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, Meijer Gardens, and Shakespeare and other plays.
Fifth Third Junior Riverbank Run
As part of our physical fitness program, Trinitas students are encouraged to train for and participate in the Fifth Third Junior Riverbank Run. Students are asked to run and/or walk a total of 5 miles during recesses leading up to the event (many choose to continue their training beyond this number of miles). At the event, students may run ½ mile, mile, or 5K. The run occurs on a Wednesday evening in May; see http://www.53riverbankrun.com/ for more details.
Fine Arts Night*
Fine Arts Night is an annual Trinitas event held one evening in the spring. Full-time students and homeschool music class partners will sing selections chosen by our music teacher, and student artwork will be on display. In addition, students are invited to perform or display individual or group pieces (vocal, instrumental, dance, drama, visual art, etc.). Original works are acceptable; live accompaniment is preferred (we may be able to provide this). All material should be in good taste and reflect a spirit of beauty and loveliness which brings light and joy (perhaps even laughter) to the soul.
Trinitas students participate in a geo bee each year. Geography questions are taken from their history lessons. The geo bee, along with regular map work, helps students locate historical events in space as well as time.
Graduation and Awards Night
We believe it is a good thing to award excellence and that it can motivate students to do their best. Awards and Graduation Night occurs the evening before the last day of school. We have tried to establish awards to cover a variety of accomplishments. In addition to diplomas and Latin awards, various medals are awarded for such things as character, academic improvement, and outstanding achievement in specific areas like athletics and fine arts. Awards are determined by Trinitas teachers, and, where helpful, other volunteers involved in extra-curricular activities, recess duty, etc. Because awards require evaluation in several subjects or events, students enrolled in the Homeschool Partnership are not eligible.
We invite students to bring their grandparents, god-parents, or other special grown-up to school with them for part of a school day in mid-October. Our special guests will have an opportunity to watch students demonstrate some of what they have been learning in school and to join their students in the classroom too. This day is for both homeschool partners and full-time students.
Homeschool Friends Day
Our homeschool partners and their families are an important part of the Trinitas community. Homeschool Friends Day takes place in March and is an opportunity for prospective homeschool families to attend an afternoon of classes and get to know the staff and students.
Each year in early May the Iowa Test of Basic Skills is administered to all full-time Trinitas students grades K through 8. The testing takes place over the course of three mornings. Part-time students may take the Iowa tests for a fee. To see a summary of results for the most current Iowa tests taken by Trinitas students, visit:www.trinitasclassical.org/faq.htm.
Kids’ Food Basket
Kids’ Food Basket is a local organization that provides sack dinners to students in area schools. These students are below the poverty level and are greatly supported by the work of KFB. Trinitas has committed to sending 6-8 volunteers to Kids’ Food Basket to help pack meals on the first Thursday of every month, starting in October and continuing until May. Our session each month is scheduled for 6:30pm and will last for approximately 1 hour. This is a great opportunity to volunteer with children! KFB is located at 2055 Oak Industrial Drive NE. For more information on the organization, go to http://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/.
Latin Books, Plays, and Feasts
Students in grades 5-8 Latin classes have opportunities to write, translate into Latin, and illustrate stories they then share with students in the younger grades. They also enjoy periodically performing Latin plays for fellow students, parents, and siblings. Rome’s birthday is an excuse for a cake, and we occasionally enjoy a Roman meal together.
Michigan Junior Classical League and National Latin Exam
Trinitas is a member of the Michigan Junior Classical League. Students in 7th and 8th grade have the opportunity to attend the fall and spring conventions under the guidance of our Latin teacher. Students participate in a number of activities designed to increase their understanding of and enthusiasm for Latin. Students in 5th through 8th grade also take the National Latin Exam each year. Many of our students have earned awards at these events and on these exams.
Muffins with Mom
Moms are invited to join their children before school for a time of fellowship and goodies. This event is held one morning in the spring, at 7:30.
Parent Information Nights
Full-time students (and some of their parents) are asked to participate in our two Parent Information Nights each spring. These events are an important recruiting tool for the school as they allow prospective families to meet Trinitas staff, students, and parents and gain a glimpse of what makes our school exceptional. Homeschool partners are not required but are welcome to join us.
Pot-Providence and Picnic
Parents and teachers are invited to our annual pot-luck in the fall, and Trinitas families are invited to our year-end picnic. Both occasions, as well as other informal gatherings throughout the year, are fun opportunities to enjoy good food and get to know other members of the Trinitas community.
Reader’s Theater (RT)*
Reader’s Theater is open to Trinitas students in grades 3-8. Kindergarten students are invited to attend the performances. Participants meet one lunch recess per week to rehearse a short play (no memorization required). After a few rehearsals, they perform for their fellow students, teachers, and available parents and siblings during lunch recess. Those wanting to participate behind the scenes have the opportunity to design, construct, and assemble costumes, props, and sets. Students may choose to participate on a play-by-play basis. Like Thoughtful Reader Book Club, Reader’s Theater provides another opportunity for students to enjoy good literature, and it’s a low-pressure way to increase their comfort level in front of an audience.
In Running Club, students in Grades 5-8 train together for the Fifth Third Riverbank Junior 5K. The Fifth Third Riverbank Run 5K Training Guide (found at www.53riverbankrun.com) is used to pace the preparation of Running Club participants. In addition to the race training, students play games which serve to develop proper running technique, provide aerobic exercise, and strengthen peer relationships. Trinitas Running Club meets one afternoon a week from mid-March to the end of school.
Every other year, students may choose to participate in the Trinitas Science Fair. Students design their own experiments and present the results to a panel of judges during the school-day. Their presentations are also placed on display for fellow students, teachers, parents, siblings, and grandparents to enjoy later that evening. The science fair takes place in February and is open to both full-time and part-time students.
Speech Meet and Public Speaking
The annual speech meet provides one opportunity for students to practice some of the skills necessary for becoming comfortable and articulate in front of an audience. The speech meet takes place in early November each year, at the beginning of the school day. It is required for full-time students and optional for homeschool partners. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the speech meet. Selections may come from poetry, ecclesiastical sources (scriptural, liturgical, patristic, etc.), political speeches, fables, or, for Kindergarteners, nursery rhymes. As with Fine Arts Night pieces, all material must be in good taste and should reflect a spirit of beauty and loveliness which brings light and joy (perhaps even laughter) to the soul. Students should commit their selected piece to memory. In addition to the annual speech meet and weekly Bible memory recitations, Trinitas students are also frequently given the opportunity for oral presentations in a variety of subjects such as history, writing, and science.
In the late fall, students are given a list of words to study at home for the spelling bee. The bee takes place in early January. Students in grades K through 4 challenge their classmates in a single elimination round in their own classrooms until a winner and runner-up can be declared. Students in grades 5 through 8 compete according to the rules for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The winner and runner up for this age group move on to the regional spelling bee. Homeschool partners are welcome to participate in this event.
The entire Trinitas community is invited to our annual Thanksgiving Feast which takes place during a lunch period just prior to Thanksgiving break. Students prepare much of the meal together at school, and everyone celebrates God’s gracious goodness as we enjoy good food, good company, and a good play performed by some of our students.
Thoughtful Reader Book Club (TR)*
Trinitas Thoughtful Reader Book Club is open to all students in grades K-8. The purpose of the club is to encourage students to read, discuss, and enjoy! good literature. Students set a reading goal and record the books they read. They may read on their own, with a parent, or some combination of the two. Members of the club also read the club’s selected title(s) and meet at Schuler Books and Music on Alpine for a lively discussion. If students participate in the book discussion and turn in their reading lists, they’ll fulfill an extra-curricular requirement, receive a cool prize, have fun, and be smarter!
Young Authors Festival*
Calvin College hosts a youth writing festival every other year for students in grades 1-8. Each full-time Trinitas student will write a piece for this event; part-time students are welcome to do so as well. Students may choose from a variety of genres (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc.), though they may be directed by their teachers as some (though not all) of the work will be done in class. Younger students are encouraged to illustrate their work, and we will “publish” (bind) the finished product. In addition to attending the Calvin event, students will also have the opportunity to display their books at school. Kindergarten students are not eligible for the Calvin festival but will be writing and publishing their own stories as well. Festival information can be found at http://www.calvin.edu/academic/engl/ywf/.