“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.”
Trinitas students and friends are invited to join us for a week of summer art camp, contingent upon registration. Our 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 to http://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. (Matthew 25:34-36, 40). In December, we seek to help those in need by offering our gifts to assist the work of a charitable organization. We currently alternate years working with the School of Promise in Thailand 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 invited 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 before school starts. Dads are encouraged to stay for our chapel after the time of fellowship.
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 is at 11:35 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 even participate in a final all-school activity!
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.
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.
Students in Grades 3-8 compete in classroom rounds much like a Spelling Bee. The questions are oral, prepared by National Geographic, and cover a wide range of geographic topics. The 4th-8th graders compete for slots in the school finals. The school champion advances to the next level of competition, an online qualifying test to determine competitors in the State GeoBee.
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.
Latin at Lunchtime
Students in 5th-8th Latin classes regularly perform Latin plays for fellow students, parents, and siblings during lunch. Stories may include classic or contemporary fables. At times there might be a sing-a-long! In December, we present a Nativity play. In April, we celebrate Rome’s birthday, with cake and a special presentation on the history of Rome.
Michigan Junior Classical League
Trinitas is a member of the Michigan Junior Classical League. Students in Grades 6-8 have the opportunity to attend the MJCL 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: Olympika events, Certamen (Latin Quiz Bowl), costume and visual art competitions. The conference ends with an awards assembly where all are dressed in togas!
Muffins with Mom
Moms are invited to join us for a time of fellowship and goodies. This event is held the Friday after Mother’s Day during the last hour of the school day.
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 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.
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 over the winter. Discussion books for each grade are announced in December and groups (Grades 3-8) meet in February. Grades K-2 meet for a time of activities related to their book selection.
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/.