Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at Kent Primary School

As the teacher read a book celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, the students in Amy Constantinides’s fourth grade class at Kent Primary School could not help smiling.  

When Ecuador was mentioned, nine-year-old Lindsay’s eyes lit up. “I’m from Ecuador,” she said. 

When Guatemala came up, Matthew raised his hand. 

Then, when Mexico was mentioned, Monica called out.  

“I’m from four different countries – El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala and the United States,” Monica said. “My aunt lives in El Salvador. My mom is from Mexico and my dad is from Guatemala. My family is not much for traveling now though. We stay right here at home.”    

Sarah Albrecht, the English as a New Language teacher, came into the class on a recent morning and read the book “Pepe and the Parade: A Celebration of Spanish Heritage” by Tracey Kyle. 

“I am always on the lookout for texts that reflect my students and their backgrounds as well as providing windows and doors into experiences unlike their own. This work helps to build bridges between what the students already know and what they are learning.”  

After listening to the book, small groups of students were assigned a country’s flag and coat of arms to research, write about and draw.  

Matthew’s group got El Salvador.  

“I’ve been to El Salvador,” Matthew, 9, said. “It’s right next to Guatemala, and I’m from Guatemala so it was close.”  

All students in Constantinides’s class seemed to enjoy the assignment, but she noticed how excited the students with Hispanic Heritage backgrounds, especially, seemed.  

“This is their time to shine and share their heritage,” she said. “It is great. They love it.”