September 15th marks the beginning of National Hispanic American Heritage Month. The United States is home to many Hispanic Americans with heritage roots all across the globe. September 15th through October 15th is a special time to recognize and honor those with Hispanic heritage.
Why celebrate National Hispanic American Heritage Month?
“National Hispanic American Heritage month kicks off celebratory festivities because September 15th is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period”(National Hispanic American Heritage Month, https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about/).
Ways to Celebrate in the Classroom
There is so much that goes into Hispanic culture, including: cuisine, history, literature and arts, which means plenty of activities to celebrate in the classroom! You can prepare Hispanic food, read poems by Hispanic poets, have an educated discussion, listen to Hispanic music while crafting and so much more!
Depending on what grade is being taught, these activities will coordinate with certain ages compared to others. A younger student will most likely comprehend an educated craft more so than a scholarly poem. Older grades will probably react better to the poem.
As long as children are being educated about National Hispanci American Heritage Month, there really is no right or wrong answer on how to celebrate! If there is a Latino teacher or student in the classroom, maybe they too would like to share their culture from their experience!
Is celebrating National Hispanic American Heritage important?
Yes! Implementing diversity and equality into our classrooms is a top priority. It is important to ensure that everyone feels equal and represented in a community setting. As individuals, we all have our differences that make us unique, but our diversity is what makes us so special. There may be students in a classroom who feel unrepresented. Teaching the class about specific heritages can allow for a deeper, more inclusive understanding.
National Hispanic American Heritage does not have to go away on October 15th, it should be discussed all year long. However, it is beneficial to teach about it during its recognized month.
We would love to hear what materials and activities you have planned to celebrate in your classroom!