How LEAs recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month

“Hispanic Heritage Month is not only a chance to celebrate our past, but to set an example for the next generation,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a recent tweet.

As National Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, here is how some local educational agencies throughout the state recognized the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15.

In Alhambra Unified School District, members of the Board of Education took part in the Fiesta Alhambra festival in celebration of the month with a booth at the farmer’s market where board and cabinet members mingled with attendees and were able to provide information on what’s going on in the district.

Lodi USD posted a series of videos in English and Spanish to its YouTube and social media pages featuring student answers to questions about their favorite things about their cultureand what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.

One Clyde W. Needham Elementary student said it means “Taking pride in your culture and celebrating your family, ancestors and your roots.” Many students’ favorite things about their culture emphasized food and the importance of family.

In Conejo Valley USD, the district shared resources from Thousand Oaks High School’s library, including book recommendations, resources for students and ways to connect on-campus as well as materials for families and teachers. The school board also passed a resolution in support of the month. San Diego USD similarly passed a resolution proclaiming National Hispanic Heritage Month and offered resources for related activities.

On Sept. 17, San Francisco USD’s Superintendent Vincent Matthews posted a message to the district’s website announcing that the district would be celebrating the month as part of an ongoing mission to make all students feel included. “Numerous San Francisco Board of Education policies adopted over the years specifically honor and support various efforts in SFUSD to ensure all students are seen and heard in their coursework, and that each student’s culture is celebrated,” Matthews said. The district’s Mariachi and biliteracy programs were highlighted.

Morgan Hill USD suggested five activities to expand cultural education, including creating a cultural art piece inspired by “hope.” Other suggestions were to research and prepare a Latin American recipe, research an artist, find a poem by a Hispanic or Latino poet and write your own, and to research and play a game from a Latin American country.

Bakersfield City School District tweeted a photo of a poster created by Chipman Junior High School students in honor of the month. The work featured the likenesses of Frida Kahlo and others. The district promoted its 2021–22 Cultural Heritage Guide as well.

Read other coverage of National Hispanic Heritage Month, including articles “Celebrating student culture year-round” and “Engaging students starts with embracing families,” on the CSBA blog.