Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated nationally from September 15th through October 15th to honor the histories, cultures and contributions of those whose roots stem from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. In acknowledgement of Hispanic Heritage Month, LYFE Teachers, Educational Paraprofessionals, and Social Workers planned classroom activities, groups, and family experiences to encourage cultural discovery across LYFE sites citywide. The activities allowed LYFE student parents, their children and extended family members to take part in various learning experiences such as musical activities, artwork development, and read-a-longs.
As an example of the various activities and events held, check out how LYFE at Beach Channel High School celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month.
To prepare for their Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Friday, October 10th, LYFE children at Beach Channel High School made “Papel picado.” With hands-on guidance and instruction from LYFE caregivers, LYFE children were able to utilize their fine motor and coordination skills to paint and create artwork. Thereafter, LYFE student parents used their lunch hours to help decorate the LYFE classroom with their children’s handmade artwork. In addition, the student parents supported the LYFE classroom by organizing materials such as Spanish to English books and identifying Spanish music for the celebration. Student parents also supported LYFE Teacher Peggy Diercks with writing and translating a speech to be delivered in both Spanish and English to welcome LYFE families to the “fiesta”.
A total of 17 attendees, including LYFE mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close friends came out to the site to celebrate. Families contributed to the celebration by bringing in dishes that complemented the menu of foods that student parents selected from a local Spanish restaurant. One grandparent brought in a wide-brimmed Mexico hat referred to as “sombrero” in Spanish for everyone to take pictures with. The highlight of the event was when the Beach Channel High School band visited the classroom and played three songs of Hispanic origin for LYFE families!
The LYFE team at Beach Channel High School’s thoughtful celebration is an excellent example of how LYFE engages families. In addition, the collaboration between the LYFE site and the High School community where the classroom is housed, speaks to one of LYFE’s Core Values – fostering a supportive environment within and beyond the LYFE program.
Visit the photo gallery below to view Hispanic Heritage Month photos from LYFE sites at: Beach Channel High School, Far Rockaway Educational Campus, Jane Addams High School, Long Island City High School, and Springfield Gardens Educational Campus.
On September 16, 2014, LYFE participated in Dads Take Your Child to School Day in collaboration with the Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative and its citywide partners, for the fourth year in a row. This year LYFE added a twist to the celebration and broadened the focus of the day to include, celebrate, and acknowledge the important roles immediate, extended, and kinship family members play in the success of LYFE children, student parents and the LYFE program as a whole. On this day we not only celebrated Dads Take Your Child to School Day but LYFE Family Day throughout all LYFE sites!
Across our 35 LYFE sites, over 250 family members (including moms, dads, grandparents and great grandparents) took part in LYFE Family Day. We are also proud to share that we had over 30 fathers participate on this day as a part of Dads Take Your Child to School Day. Families had an opportunity to learn about their child’s participation in the program and meet LYFE staff. LYFE Teachers, Social Workers, Educational Paraprofessionals, and Family Workers came up with interactive activities and experiences for LYFE families to participate in such as: sing-a-longs, hands-on art experiences, interactive photo booths, and storytelling. These activities allowed for families to have fun with their children while also exploring the ways their children learn and grow in the LYFE classroom every day. LYFE families were provided with LYFE tote bags for their participation in the day’s activities courtesy of the Office of School Health: Pathways to Success. Check out the joy on our families’ faces in the photo gallery below.
LYFE is proud to be a part of the citywide efforts to engage and empower families. The dedication and investment of families in the growth and development of LYFE student parents and their children is surely to have a positive generational impact. LYFE is looking forward to providing more family engagement opportunities this school year!
Special thanks to the following LYFE sites for sharing pictures for this post:
- Beach Channel Educational Campus
- Bronx Regional High School
- Bushwick Educational Campus
- Grand Street
- Harlem Renaissance High School
- Hillcrest High School
- Jeffrey Tenzer Educational Campus
- Long Island City High School
- Louis D. Brandeis High School
- Pathways to Graduation- Downtown Brooklyn
- Springfield Gardens Educational Complex
- Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus
- Thomas Jefferson Educational Campus