Valley Stream, NY (November 2021)— In October, the Valley Stream Central High School World Language Department celebrated the contributions and culture of our Hispanic community during Hispanic Heritage Month. Students in Spanish 4 classes researched and prepared presentations about the contributions of famous Hispanic people that have touched all aspects of our lives. Individuals the students chose to research included Sonia Sotomayor, Oscar de la Renta, Frida Kahlo, Ellen Ochoa, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Isabel Allende, Roberto Clemente, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Sandra Cisneros, Desi Arnaz, Raúl Julia and Celia Cruz. “The beauty and strength of our country is its diversity. The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and highlighting the many contributions of the Hispanic community, which add to the quality of life we all enjoy today, is an important part of imparting to our students a greater appreciation of that diversity,” said Dr. Joseph Pompilio, Principal of Valley Stream Central
During the month-long celebration, students in College Spanish classes worked on the unit Las Tradiciones. One very interesting aspect of their study focused on how food is an intricate part of one’s traditions, culture, and identity. Students researched not only foods of Hispanic origin, but the origins of others as well, such as coffee which originated in Africa, bananas from Asia and potatoes and tomatoes from Peru.
On the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, students were encouraged to represent their heritage by wearing clothing representing their ancestral countries. Photos of students were taken in front of the Hispanic Heritage Month Bulletin Board as they pointed to the countries they proudly represented. Students also enjoyed looking at the displays that teachers created in front of their classroom doors representing La República Dominicana, México, Perú and Puerto Rico. To close the celebration, World Language teachers were interviewed by ETV about their culture, wearing Hispanic Heritage Month t-shirts to celebrate the contributions of all Hispanic cultures.
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