EHPS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Posted on 10/21/2021
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at CIBA


 EHPS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

From poster contests to Bachata performances, East Hartford Public Schools found engaging and educational ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage month which honors the rich histories, art, stories and cultural contributions of those whose ancestry can be traced back to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

This celebration is particularly important in the EHPS community as we know 44% of our students identify as Hispanic and/or Latinx.

“At EHPS, Hispanic Heritage Month is part of our continuous journey of knowing, appreciating, and valuing our students and families. We are privileged to have a student body that represents a diverse array of Latinx heritage and traditions, and during Hispanic Heritage Month we shine a light on the rich cultures, values, and assets that shape our schools and community,” said Vincent Crawford, Coordinator of Family and Community Partnerships at EHPS. “This time of celebration is one of the ways we ensure student representation in the learning environment while building deeper cultural awareness for all of our staff and students.”

At Robert O’Brien STEM Academy, beautiful artwork lined the hallways and administrators shared a new Hispanic heritage fact during the morning announcements each day.

Wall Art at O'Brien School

At Mayberry Elementary School, information about Hispanic culture, from food to influential figures, was incorporated into both structured and unstructured times throughout the day. Students were also given opportunities to share about their cultures during lessons.

Hispanic Heritage Month Lesson at Mayberry School Hispanic Heritage Month Lesson at Mayberry School

Throughout the month at East Hartford Middle School (EHMS), cultural music filled the hallways. Staff members and students chose the songs allowing for discussions on why the music was important to them.

The EHMS Equity and Diversity Team also put on a design contest, where students and their families created posters representing Hispanic culture. The team collected the posters and voted on a top three. The winning students were given a gift card to Rosa's on Burnside Avenue, a Hispanic owned bakery.

EHMS Poster Contest

Over at East Hartford High School, students in the Spanish for Heritage Speakers classes worked with the cafeteria chef and dietician to create special menus throughout the month. From beef empanadas to Cuban sandwiches, the students were told if the meals are well received they could be added into the regular rotation. 

On October 14, EHHS held a widely attended Café con Leche event, which included a scavenger hunt, crafts, dance lessons and more. It culminated with a celebration of Hispanic foods.  

Hispanic Heritage Month activities at EHHS Hispanic Heritage Month activities at EHHS

On October 15, to end the month, all Connecticut IB Academy (CIBA) students attended its Hispanic Heritage Celebration. This was an entirely student-led effort and the CAS project of Leilany Cruz. Working with Spanish teacher Yolanda Lamasurier, she and her classmates practiced their Salsa, Bachata and Merengue dance performances for weeks. The celebration also featured poetry, a presentation on influential Hispanic figures and an interactive game.

Hispanic Heritage Celebration at CIBA Hispanic Heritage Celebration at CIBA

“In our World Language classes, we celebrate languages and cultures daily.  However, Hispanic Heritage Month gives us the opportunity to celebrate outside of our classes in a variety of ways with the whole school community,” said Elizabeth Peczuh, Supervisor of World Language, EL and Bilingual Programs at EHPS.

“Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is especially important in East Hartford because we are able to recognize and honor the many cultures of our students and families.  We not only teach others about Hispanic people, culture, and traditions, but our own Hispanic students light up when they hear their music in school, enjoy their food in the cafeteria, and share their experiences of being Hispanic.”