In teacher Christine Donovan’s class at Conshohocken Elementary School, the third graders recently followed along with a read aloud about Celia Cruz, a Cuban singer who made Salsa music popular in the United States.
“The story teaches you to go for your dream goal,” said third grader Wesley Hambrick. “My dream goal is to be a YouTuber.”
The lesson is part of a month-long celebration of Hispanic American Heritage Month, where the students participate in activities during Morning Meetings that introduce them to Hispanic people and culture.
“We read about Paco’s paintbrush, and that taught us different words,” said third grader Harper Ashton. “Anaranjado and rojo mean orange and red.”
Throughout the month, the students read stories and learned about different Spanish-speaking countries, where they’re located, and other details, like their crafts, their money, and their climate.
“The cool thing right now is that our science unit is called stormy skies,” said Mrs. Donovan. “We were already talking about our climate, so there was a great crossover to be talking about their climates and how they’re all different.”
Conshohocken Elementary School’s Climate Committee, made up of teachers and other staff at the school, create Morning Meeting lessons to highlight different cultures and initiatives throughout the year. All of the school's students, kindergarten through third grade, participate in the lessons.
Hispanic American Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. The celebration begins in the middle of the month to honor Independence Day for El Salvador, Guatemala, and the other countries in the area that became free of Spanish rule through the Act of Independence of Central America signed in Guatemala City in 1821.