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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Americans have observed National Hispanic Heritage month from September 15 to October 15 each year since 1988. It was first observed as Hispanic Heritage Week which began in 1968. This celebration recognizes the anniversaries of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.  Throughout the district, Brentwood schools celebrated the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens with ancestries from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

North Middle School kicked off their celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at Homecoming with their Disney/Pixar’s Coco themed float.  They continued the festivities on October 13th with an after school Hispanic Heritage Celebration, where students and their families were invited to enjoy art, music, dancing and games such as Loteria.  Prizes were presented to the students who won the school’s Hispanic Heritage month poster contest.  The event included a musical performance from North Middle student Caleb Fuentes-Villatoro singing Mientes tan Bien, from Sin Bandera, and accompanied by Assistant Principal Elias Mestizo on guitar.

On October 19th, South Middle held their Latino Heritage celebration in the evening.  The audience was treated to a flag presentation of the different countries celebrated during the month.  The Phyllis Rose Dance Company performed traditional Latino dances such as flamenco and bachata. All in attendance were invited to join in the dances in from their seats.  There was also a musical performance by Mr. Devassy and South Middle student Gisselle Jaime on flute.  During the celebration, Maria Rodriguez, Assistant Coordinator of Brentwood’s Bilingual and ENL Department, was honored for her dedication to the students, parents and community of Brentwood. Click here to see more photos.

East Middle School invited students to their Latino Heritage Celebration on October 20th.  The event had a buffet of Latino food donated by parents and local companies which included favorites such as pupusa and Latino style potato salad.  The year’s celebration was the first school-wide event with participation from all grade levels.  Teachers collaborated with each other to create a lively experience with a variety of presentations by the students which included dance and musical performances.

The district capped off the celebrations with a special recognition ceremony by the Board of Education at the October 20th Board of Education meeting.  The honorees included Candido Crespo, President of the Puerto Rican Coalition for a Better Community and Dorothy Santana, the founder of Latina Moms Connect of Long Island.  Other honorees included Sonia Argueta, Laurel Park Bilingual Teacher and Community Plaza liaison and Brentwood High School students Yennifer Alvarado, Raquel Acosta and David Ramirez.  North Middle student Caleb Fuentes-Villatoro performed once more in tribute to all the honorees and to Hispanic Heritage month. Click here to watch the October 20th Board of Education Meeting via YouTube.

North Middle School Staff and Students with Homecoming float
North Middle student singing and Assistant Principal on guitar
North Middle Principal speaking to students and families