Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 and Spring Branch ISD schools are engaging in festivities throughout the month.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston partnered with Housman Elementary to host a celebration on Sept. 15, where Hispanic heritage was recognized through activities like lotería (a Hispanic card game similar to bingo), traditional snacks and music.
Families were excited to see the decorated school and take part in the festivities. The event gave students the opportunity to learn about the customs and traditions of a different culture. Dekeita Frazier, club director of the Boys and Girls Club, notes that it made Hispanic families at Housman feel included and acknowledged.
“I want my members to know that we support them, their heritage and their community,” said Frazier. “We will continue to find ways to let them know that we see them, we hear them, and care about their families.”
Valley Oaks is celebrating with a display in their library that highlights Hispanic traditions. Librarian Becky Reese was thrilled to give students the opportunity to connect with their heritage.
“A sweet fifth grade student told me she really liked the display because her family is Hispanic and she loved seeing it,” said Reese. “This is why we participate, for everyone to feel like they belong.”
Woodview Elementary has a display with flags of different Hispanic countries with photos of staff who are from those countries.
They also have a book display in the library that includes books written by Hispanic authors.
Shannon Hurt, librarian at Woodview, is teaching students about Pura Belpré, the first Hispanic librarian in the New York Public Library system and a pioneer of library work in the Puerto Rican community. The students will be making puppets to honor her love of storytelling with puppets.
Hurt is excited about engaging students in Hispanic literature and providing a glimpse of history.
At Northbrook Middle School, families took part in Noche de Lotería or Hispanic bingo night to celebrate. Students are also learning about the culture through a fact of the day during morning announcements.
Soon, staff members will be taking part in a salsa competition, where everyone votes on the best tasting salsa.
Spring Woods High School (SWHS) is celebrating with a week of activities. Students are encouraged to wear their national flag’s colors, wear their soccer jerseys or their most colorful outfit to ‘show the joy of the Hispanic culture.’ They even had a dancing session during their lunch period.
“Many of our students come from a Hispanic background,” said Raul Ruiz, SWHS United States history and Mexican American Studies teacher. “By embracing their culture and heritage we make them feel acknowledged, valued and empowered.”