Collegiate School Supports Festival’s Piñata Project

During the month of April, Collegiate School worked with several community partners to construct and donate nearly a dozen piñatas to the 17th annual Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s ¿Qué Pasa? Festival.
Students off all ages from Collegiate; Saturday Academy, a partnership between Collegiate’s AP Spanish class and Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School ESL students; and STAR, an after-school mentoring program that partners Collegiate juniors and seniors and the Tuckahoe YMCA with Quioccasin Middle School refugee and immigrant ESL students, participated in the event. The community and statewide effort challenged the current Guinness World Record for the “Largest Display of Piñatas” and raised funds for Pasaporte a la Educación Programs.

The feat took place May 5 during the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's annual Cinco de Mayo celebration along Richmond's Canal Walk. The festival attracts some 20,000 community members every spring to highlight and celebrate Virginia’s growing and thriving Hispanic communities.

Leslie Paige Holmes, a project organizer Virginia Hispanic Foundation, and Allison Schumacher, the Director of Academic Alchemy at the VCU da Vinci Center, coordinated the piñata project.

Ms. Holmes said that more than 70 Hispanic community organizations in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland helped craft piñatas for the event, and 37% of the works were created by children from area schools, including Collegiate, Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School, Quioccasin Middle School, Armstrong High School and all of Petersburg city schools.

She said event organizers documented 1,013 piñatas, which more than doubled the previous Guinness World Record of 504 set in 2008 in Sonora, Mexico.

The piñatas will be on display at the Children’s Museum of Richmond and then volunteers will fill them with supplies and donate them to eligible schools, programs and families in the community.