We are proud to celebrate our Hispanic and Latinx families and staff during Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month. From September 15- October 15, Hispanic and Latinx communities are celebrated for their history and what they bring to the future. Some of our CRCSD schools developed their own celebrations, from creating Hispanic and Latinx Heritage groups to studying the historical contributions of Latin Americans.

Jefferson High School

This is the first year of the Latinx Club, which grew out of the Latin Dance Club at Jefferson High School. The club wanted to do more cultural activities and share with others who have common interests. The idea of a Hispanic Heritage Month Assembly, grew from Jefferson junior Julissa Torres’ idea while attending the back to school assembly and feeling inspired to share her culture with other students at Jefferson. Students also felt empowered and confident after attending the Iowa Latinx Youth Summit in Iowa City. The assembly showcased the students’ Hispanic Heritage and shared cultural dances with the student body consisting of juniors and seniors. “I felt hyped. We finally did something to celebrate and dance,” says Jefferson senior, Angel Torres. “We got to celebrate our culture.” The club also showcased a video that highlighted being Hispanic is more than being from one country. “To see the students’ reaction, some even cried! It was amazing, “ says Jefferson junior, Paty Zurita González. It means something, showing them something they have not seen from us before. Showing them a different side of us.” Check out the images and video from the assembly. The group looks forward to organizing more events during the school year. 

Washington High School

A new club named Maize launched at Washington High School. Maize is a space for Latinx and Indigenous students to have a place to gather, speak their native language, get extra help with school, connect with the school and community about their culture, and get help with practical life skills (interview prep, job applications, etc.). The group is looking forward to celebrating Day of the Dead next week! Anyone is welcome to join. If you’re interested in joining the club, please reach out to Ceci Cornejo at stccornejo@crschool.us.

Van Buren Elementary School

Van Buren Elementary School serves ⅓ Hispanic students, and wanted to honor the heritage of those students with a project celebrating the contributions of Hispanic Americans. Kara Schmadeke, along with the support of paraprofessionals June Hamilton and Silvia Saleh, taught students how to read several informational texts, record key details with jot dots (Write Tools), and compose a paper defining important contributions of Hispanic Americans. Students designed posters, including maps of the countries from which the Hispanic Americans families had come, that were displayed around the building. You can see their work here.

Hiawatha Elementary School

At Hiawatha Elementary, ELL teachers Tracy Doerrfeld and Melissa Miller gave their students the opportunity to learn about famous Hispanic Americans. Students chose a famous Hispanic person and did research to find a quote that resonated with them. The students researched traditional musical instruments and studied the different designs, while younger students designed and colored their own musical instruments. The students also celebrated the amazing foods of the Latin countries, and put a colorful banner in the cafeteria for all students to appreciate the amazing diverse foods. See a photo from the students’ projects here.