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Commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month at GIS

From September 15th to October 15th at GIS, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, also referred to by many as Latinx Heritage Month.

We are lucky to have a talented, multicultural staff to help students better understand the lived experiences and history of Hispanic and Latin Americans all year long.

As Elissa Torres, one of our Extended Care teachers, said, “This month is very important to me. I love learning about my own culture as well as others.” 

Teachers in Extended Care highlighted this special month with crafts dedicated to Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Other days students made papel picado, luminarias, and painted sugar skulls.

There are many ways and opportunities to help expose your family to Hispanic and Latinx culture, including via movies, art, books, local museums, and more! 

“The Pixar movie Coco beautifully represents the tradition of Dia de los Muertos, and is a must watch if you’re wanting to expose students to it,” said Mariana Cruz-Martinez, another Extended Care teacher at GIS.

Many educators highlight historical figures during Hispanic Heritage Month as a way to showcase the ways people from Latin and Hispanic backgrounds have impacted our country and the world.

For Adrian Correa, GIS 6th grade Spanish teacher, Fernando Botero, an artist from Mr. Correa’s native Colombia, is an important figure and role model.

Preschool floater Berenice Luna said her Hispanic role model is her mother. Born in California, Berenice’s parents came from Mexico, and she said her mom showed her how to cook Hispanic dishes, shared her love for music, and, “above all, she's shown me the importance of being kind and respectful to others.”

Food is also a great way to share and experience culture.

Ms. Torres likes to share pupusas, a thick flatbread filled with cheese, beans, or meat. They are a type of finger food and can also be served with curtido, a kind of pickled cabbage.

Most importantly these teachers emphasize to students the importance of diversity in their school and larger community.

“When we have diversity, we are the strongest. We will have more opinions and more ideas. The system needs diversity to survive,” said GIS PE teacher Louis Rivera. 

“I think GIS is doing a great job of respecting and celebrating different cultures,” Luna said.

Ultimately, cross-cultural awareness opens many doors.

“Embracing diversity and learning about different cultures will allow students to approach situations in unique ways. It’s also fun learning about other cultures’ music, food, and ways of viewing the world!” said Ms. Cruz-Martinez.

We couldn’t agree more!

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