Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations end at schools in Meriden


MERIDEN – The Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations ended Friday at Lincoln Middle School, where music, dancing, art exhibits and academic projects were highlighted in a bid to honor the culture.

School principal John Kuckel said the idea was to host a school-wide event where each class would have the opportunity to celebrate Hispanic heritage in their own way.

The eighth grade students worked on a portrait project featuring Hispanic athletes, musicians, global influencers and the “Hispanic Heroes of Meriden.” Students drew portraits in art class and interviewed or researched biographical information in social studies class.

Eliza Agosto created a portrait of Dr. Lysette Torres, Director of Equity and Education for Meriden Public Schools. Agosto said she enjoyed creating the portrait and interviewing Torres to learn more about her. Celebrating the Hispanic heritage at school means a lot to Agosto as she wants more students to learn about the culture, she added.

Representatives from Willie’s Salsa Euphoria, a dance studio in New Britain, gave salsa lessons to students at Lincoln Middle School on Friday as part of the school’s celebration. Evan Gray, the principal of the school orchestra, led the school orchestra as they performed live music for the students dancing on stage.

On October 15, Washington Middle School hosted a Mariachi show from the Wallingford Spanish Community School of Music. Some of the artists are students of the Meriden public schools.

Eric Lopez, deputy principal in Washington, said the celebration of Hispanic heritage at the school was “wonderful.”

Lopez, who has Puerto Rican roots, said he was grateful for the presentation of mariachi because some students don’t often get to see these kinds of performances.

“It’s just nice to share something different with them,” Lopez said.

He thanked Marissa Cardona, family-school liaison, for organizing the event.

At the end of the performance, a question-and-answer session was organized.

The students asked the performers about mariachi music and the instruments they used.

School staff have hidden Hispanic heritage-themed t-shirts under some of the seating in the auditorium.

Every Friday during Hispanic Heritage Month, which officially ended on Oct. 15, the school also performed Spanish music in an outdoor lunch area, Lopez said.

Additionally, during the morning announcements, historical Hispanic figures were highlighted along with staff members.

“I can’t wait to do more next year,” Lopez said.

Students at Edison Middle School celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with academic projects and decorations in classrooms and hallways.

Nate Testroet, a science teacher, gave the students a project to research and create a presentation on Hispanic science influencers.

Healey Mata, one of Testroet’s students, gave a presentation on the life of Carlos Juan Finlay, who studied yellow fever.

Student Kelvin Davila, explained that he enjoyed learning more about Jose Hernandez, a man who was turned down eleven times for astronaut training by NASA and was selected the twelfth time he tried.

Student Masarrat Iddrisu’s project focused on Baruj Benacerraf, winner of the Nobel Prize for his work in physiology and medicine.

In English class, students learned about mythical creatures and other beliefs in Hispanic culture.

Amy Bishop, a social science teacher, said her department asks students to explore countries, flags and cultures. Bishop explained that it’s nice that the school focuses on Hispanic heritage as part of its academics, as it’s important that the program reflects the number of Hispanic students in the district.

[email protected]: @KarlaSantosNews


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