Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

School News

March 10, 2014

HES students get a taste of Scottish culture

CROSSVILLE — Homestead Elementary School (HES) students were given the opportunity to experience their first Burns Night Supper celebration with the help of the Celtic Circle on Jan. 7 in honor of their Scottish pen pals.

In an effort to better acquaint themselves with one of the oldest nations in the world, 15 HES students became pen pals with students from East Ashyire Primary in Scotland. Because their Scottish counterparts celebrated an American Thanksgiving in their honor, HES student pen pals decided to observe the traditions of a Burns Night to reciprocate the gesture.

Attending parent, Susan Galan, said, "I thought it was a great idea and the ladies who prepared the food were lovely. It was a great way for the children to learn about another country's traditions, apparel and food. Although some food was not to our liking, others were surprisingly good. And my daughter really enjoyed the pen pal part. Getting to know the hobbies and interests of a child in another country was very helpful for her to learn that although they were a world apart, that they had similar interests. Kids are kids wherever they are. Thank you Homestead for participating in the event and for allowing our children to experience Scotland."

HES student pen pals and their parents attended the Burns Night hosted by the Celtic Circle, a newer social club in Crossville which seeks to explore and share its affinity for Scottish ancestry, traditions and culture shared by its members and the community. Scotland’s national icon and poet, Robert Burns, is celebrated annually with Scottish traditions on the anniversary of his birth every Jan. 23.

Jon Goodwin who also has a student at HES said, "I was so glad when my daughter told me that her class had become pen pals with students in Scotland. Experiencing cultures outside of Crossville is exciting, educational and eye opening. The Burns Supper was excellent and I appreciate all of the hard work that went into making this a great experience for our kids."

"I am thrilled that our students have had this opportunity to broaden their horizons.  Students of East Ashyire Primary in Scotland and teacher, Mr. Cameron Orr, have been such a blessing in this pen pal partnership," said HES Assistant Principal, Ashlee Ritzko. "The help of the local group, Celtic Circle, has played a huge part in making it possible for our students to celebrate their pen pal's Scottish culture with an authentic experience!  We are learning so much together!"

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