Hispanic Heritage Month

School District Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Posted on 09/15/2021
Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 - October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 through October 15. Throughout the month, the School District of Palm Beach County honors the unique diversity and contributions of Hispanic and Latino culture. Additionally, a proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month will be on the agenda at the September 22 School Board meeting.

“This Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring and celebrating the contributions of our community is more important than ever,” said Alexandria Ayala, the District 2 School Board member. “Hispanic/Latino Americans have a history of serving our nation, and throughout this pandemic, our community has been on the frontlines. Whether you’re from the Caribbean, Central America, South America, or Spain, let us celebrate and rejoice in our shared culture, our rich diversity and our impressive collective impact. ¡Feliz mes de la herencia hispana!”

During the month, the District will acknowledge the culture and traditions of students, teachers, staff, and community members who trace their roots to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Hispanic Heritage Month was signed into law in 1988 by then-President Ronald Reagan. September 15 was chosen as the starting point because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) that all declared independence in 1821.

“Representation and inclusion of Hispanic/Latino history and culture within our curriculum and instruction helps to transform our classrooms into culturally responsive learning environments,” said Patricia Trejo, the Administrative Hispanic/Latino Studies Program Planner in the District’s department of Teaching and Learning.

“It is through awareness, connection, and inclusivity that we can help to enrich the educational experience for all of our students. Let's celebrate together and affirm the culture, customs, language, traditions, and impactful contributions Hispanic/Latinos have made to enrich the diversity of our community,” she said.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in Palm Beach County, and the School District is home to nearly 65,000 Hispanic students, representing 21 Spanish-speaking countries. This has led to an increase in Spanish Dual Language Program offerings that are now available in 27 schools throughout the District (21 elementary, four middle, and two high schools). Five of the schools are also certified as International Spanish Academies.

Several events and activities will take place throughout the County to highlight the contributions of Hispanics to the nation and the local community:

• The Palm Beach County Library System will host a series of virtual events.

FHACC Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards Celebration – September 29, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel. Each year, the Florida Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County recognizes a group of honorees in business, teaching, and academics.

Hispanic Heritage Month Social – Hosted by the Florida Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. September 23, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel. 

2021 The Raizes Awards – Organized by Salud an Vida and Mega TV. October 29, 9 p.m. at Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel.

• The Office of Diversity in Business Practices will also be hosting a virtual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Friday, October 22 for the Hispanic business community. The event will feature networking, a workshop, and a panel discussion.

• First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the theme for Hispanic Heritage Month will be “Celebrating Hispanic-American Community Leaders and Champions”. She also released information about the student art and essay contests as well as the Excellence in Education awards:

Open to all grade K-3 students in Florida. Each student will submit original, two-dimensional artwork based on this year’s theme. 

Open to all grade 4-12 students in Florida. Each student will submit one essay no longer than 500 words, based on this year’s theme. 

Open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida. Nominations can be submitted by a principal, teacher, parent/guardian or student.

Entries for the art contest, essay contest, and award must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 11. For more information, details about prizes, and specifics on how to enter, go to www.floridahispanicheritage.com.

• Many schools will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with their own schedule of events. Contact a school directly for information about their planned events.

The School District of Palm Beach County