During Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs form September 15 to October 15, the nation celebrates the remarkable contributions and lives of those of Latin American decent. And you may wonder why the month is not celebrated in one complete month, but rather two? It’s because September 15 is a significant day. It is the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
>> RELATED READ :: Events, Books, & Shows :: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 In & Around Tarrant County <<
Latino/as have such a rich history in our country and around the world. What better way to learn about their many achievements than in the school setting.
I remember by first job as a school counselor in Texas. I was at a school that was probably 90 percent Hispanic, and I was completely floored to find out that the school was not celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in any way. Although I didn’t consider myself an expert in this field, I knew I needed to come up with something and fast.
Celebrating diversity is such a crucial party of the school experience. I can vividly remember Black History Month being glazed over at my school and feeling invisible. It was a feeling that I never wanted another student to have, so I’ve tried really hard to make sure my students are seen. That is important to me.
Here are a few activities and events that you can consider for your school wide celebration.
- Daily Trivia :: Research trivia questions for each day. Announce the trivia question during morning announcements and have a box in the cafeteria where students can put their answers in to win a prize. Announce the winner at the end of the day with candy as their prize.
- Pan de Dulce y Padres (Sweet Bread and Parents) :: I held this event at the beginning of the month as a way to introduce our campus to the parents.We had pan dulce and coffee and invited the parents to get to know our administration and quick facts about our school. If you have a large Spanish speaking population, be sure to have a translator.
- Hispanic Heritage Month Art Contest :: Each year we encourage students to tap into their creative side and create art that represents Hispanic heritage. We have received some of the most beautiful artwork from this contest. I enlist the art teacher to help me choose a winner and we give a cash prize.
- Mariachi Band Performance :: Our feeder high school has an amazing mariachi band. They are required to perform a certain number of times throughout the year. I invite them to our middle school campus to perform for our students during lunch. It is usually the culminating event for the month. This year, I hope to have them come during arrival and play on our front steps to welcome students and parents.
- Hispanic Author Highlights :: Our librarian is a wonderful resource and each year we discuss ways to make the library scream Hispanic Heritage during that month. She usually has a display of Hispanic authors and books with Latino/a main characters. We give out small prizes when students check out these books.
>> RELATED READ :: Hispanic Heritage Book List <<
Parents, contact your child’s teachers now and ask about their plans for Hispanic Heritage Month. If they do not have a plan in place, please offer suggestions. If you have time, offer to help.
I’d love to hear more ideas on how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at school. Add them in the comments below.