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    Happy Hispanic Heritage Month
    Posted on 09/13/2019
    Hispanic Heritage MonthİFelíz Mes de la Herencia Hispana!

    İHola amigos de QAE! I am taking it upon myself to share some information about Hispanic Heritage Month, which falls between September 15th and October 15th. This is incredibly important to me as I have Hispanic family members and spent many years working in Spanish immersion in Los Angeles, where 47.5% of the population is Hispanic. Though we have a smaller Hispanic and Latino community at Queen Anne Elementary, we have a substantial one within Seattle and it’s important our children know and celebrate their Hispanic neighbors!
    Here are a few FAQs about Hispanic Heritage Month that I think you might find helpful in talking about with your students. Please reach out if you’d like ideas on how to incorporate this in your teaching over the next month!

    Preguntas Frecuentes: Frequently Asked Questions
    What’s the difference between Hispanic and Latino?
    Hispanic refers to a linguistic lineage, from Spanish. Latino refers to those who come from Latin America. Therefore, many Latinos are Hispanic, but not all (I.e. Brazilians), and many Hispanics are Latino, but not all (I.e. Spaniards). Many people identify as both and will use the terms interchangeably, but not all choose to do so.

    Why the dates Sept. 15-Oct 15? Why not a full calendar month?
    September 15th is an incredibly symbolic day to many Hispanic countries in Latin America. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all declared independence in 1821 on September 15th. In addition, September 16, 1810 was the day when Mexicans gave el Grito de la Independencia (the Cry of Independence) to declare the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans traditionally celebrate El Grito starting at midnight on the night of the 15th of September. Many Hispanics celebrate this day within our city in September. There is a Fiestas Patrias at the Seattle Center this weekend if you’d like to explore! Details here:

    Who should the kids absolutely know about?
    There are thousands of influential Hispanic men and women who have made phenomenal differences in our country’s growth, progress, and success. However, oftentimes I find that students don’t know even the most significant leaders. Every child, by the time they leave elementary school, should know at the least the following influential leaders: (it’s killing me to only write down three names here)
    Cesar Chavez: (SAY-sar CHA-vez) devoted his life to assisting thousand to receive better wages and safer working conditions, specifically agricultural workers in California. Hero to many Hispanic families throughout our country.
    Dolores Huerta: (Do-LOR-es WUER-ta) was a leader on behalf of farmworkers, partner to Cesar Chavez in many ways. Obama’s campaign slogan, Yes we can! Was an echo to Dolores’ slogan, Si, se puede!
    Sonia Sotomayor: (SON-ya So-to-my-or) was the first Latina and Hispanic Supreme Justice in our country. (also fun fact: type one diabetic like me! 😊 )

    How can I introduce this to my class in a kid-friendly way?
    There are many wonderful videos, but one that I’ve really enjoyed for the last couple years was made by Disney Channel. They interviewed multiple Hispanic children actors about their families and immigration stories. It is incredibly powerful because they expose the vast geographic and cultural meaning of being Hispanic, and what it means to them to be Hispanic in the United States. Highly recommend it for all teachers:

    Do you have any books I could read with my class?
    Yes and no! I have a couple that I love, including Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes (I read about a different person every couple of days, okay for grades 3-5, happy to share). I am very interested in having a section in my class library or in the school library. Maybe Dr. V can let us know if there are any available to us to borrow this month?

    I so appreciate everyone’s efforts to make our classrooms welcoming spaces for all. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, even on a smaller scale in our classrooms, helps us fulfill our mission to include and celebrate every single student in the Seattle Public Schools system.

    Srta. Thruelsen