Supporting Community, Seneca Ridge High School Hosts Hispanic Heritage Night | New
Sterling’s Seneca Ridge College hosted its Hispanic Heritage Night on Thursday, inviting students, parents and teachers to a Latinx-themed dance performance, poster competition showcasing Hispanic nationalities and public figures , and to taste the cuisine of several Latin American countries.
âStudent presentations are always front and center on this,â Seneca Ridge principal Nick Cottone said of his school’s celebration of Hispanic heritage. âTwo years ago at his first event, it was very festive. The event marked Hispanic Heritage Month, which is typically observed from September 15 to October 15 in the United States.
Cottone said the students shared dishes from different ethnicities during the school’s first Hispanic Heritage Evening in 2019. “Having a great time sitting and eating together” helped the school community to ” build and share tradition and raise awareness of other cultures. “
Thursday night’s celebration allowed students and teachers to spend time together in person, unlike computer screen icons that became ubiquitous last year, according to Kelly O’Grady, a seventh-grade English teacher. year at Seneca Ridge.
âAfter a year and a half of talking to tiny Google icons, it’s really nice to see the kids again,â said O’Grady. “And not just the children – reunite with their families.”
O’Grady added that some students had asked him for weeks before the event, âAre you coming, Mrs. O’Grady? Be there!’ And then they tell me, âMy mom makes pupusas and my dad makes tacos. It’s going to be awesome!'”
At the start of the evening activities, members of the school community were invited to watch the school dance team perform and examine a series of posters created by the students along one of the halls of the school. school that showcased either a Latin American nation or a well-known public figure of Hispanic origin, such as Ellen Ochoa or Frida Kahlo.
Ochoa, a former astronaut, became the first American woman of Hispanic origin to go to space when she participated in a mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993. Kahlo, a Mexican artist active in the early 20th century century, has become famous for its dynamism – portraits inspired by Mexican popular culture that touched on fantasy and surrealism.
Towards the end of the evening, teachers, students and parents gathered in the school cafeteria to taste Latin American dishes including pupusas – tortillas filled with various fillings – Peruvian chicken, tacos and a cake for dessert.
Cottone also announced the winners of the student poster competition, which was won by seventh-grade student Aayesha Johri and eighth-grader Elmira Fazeli for a poster highlighting Kahlo’s life and work.
Johri and Fazeli split the poster illustration in half – the seventh grader said she used colored pencils to create a large, shaded silhouette of Kahlo with biographical text and a smaller drawing and slashed of the artist on the left half of the poster, while Fazeli said she used markers to create a large portrait of Kahlo’s right half with thumbnails of her later self-portraits along the margin of the attach.
Fazeli declared both the victory in the poster competition and his presence at the Hispanic Heritage Night: âIt feels good! I can socialize with my friends and meet people again, instead of just staring at a screen. “
The two Seneca Ridge students worked on their poster for about two weeks before the competition, Johri said.
Several parents of students also said the school’s Hispanic Heritage Night made them feel like they were valued and welcome members of the learning community.
Gloria Granillo, whose son is in eighth grade at school, said she enjoyed the celebration when her son was in sixth grade and was delighted to attend the event in person this year.
âThe dance show presented by the students was very nice,â Granillo said in Spanish. âAnd the food is always great because you get to try things from all over the world.â
âWe feel very happy, because nights like this spectacle which [the community] takes us into account, âshe added. âI feel that with these schools – the schools my son attended – I have always felt safe and satisfied,â with the outreach of administrators and communications with parents.