LYFE Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2014!

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.