PMHS students honor mothers — in Spanish

Students in a Penn Manor High School Spanish class delivered an unusual Mother’s Day greeting Friday when they read their moms original poems about motherhood – in Spanish.

The mothers were invited to class to hear their children’s poetry and to receive a red rose, along with hugs from their kids.

Twelve pupils in Katharine Rodriguez’s advanced-placement Spanish class and other Spanish and ESL classes wrote the poems for a Spanish-language poetry contest sponsored by the Latin American Cultural Center of Lancaster.  Penn Manor High School had the most contest entries of any school in Lancaster County.

And while none of the students’ poems earned an award, a cultural center official said she was impressed with the quality of the students’ writing and their diction in reading their poems.

“You should all be very proud of yourselves because it was a very, very competitive contest,” said Donna Chambers, cultural center vice president, who spoke to the class Friday and presented each student with a certificate for participating in the contest, which was open to secondary and college students.

As the assembled mothers heard their children’s poems for the first time Friday, some of them teared up, and there were plenty of hugs – even if some of the mothers didn’t understand every word.

Rodriguez praised the students’ work.

“I have to give them props — writing poetry in a second language is a pretty advanced task,” she said.  “This contest was a great opportunity for them to use the language in context and to participate in a community event. And the poems they have written about their mothers are precious!”