ARLINGTON, Texas – Decorations line the hallways of ILTexas Arlington K-8, each spotlighting a country rich in history, culture, and people in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Officially recognized from September 15-October 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 after formerly being known as Hispanic Heritage Week. Celebrated annually, it is a time dedicated to honoring those of Hispanic origin or background by sharing the history and culture of those within the community, something educators at ILTexas want to highlight for their students.
“When we learn and study Hispanic Heritage, it is part of part of our history, part of our American history,” said Dr. Laura Carrasco, Deputy Superintendent of Academics and Student Services at ILTexas. “It's also important, especially at International Leadership of Texas, because we are a language and leadership school and we can't teach language without culture.”
And with the Spanish language comes many countries where the language is spoken.
“The Spanish language is not just in Mexico,” said Blanca Barajas, an eighth grade Spanish teacher at ILTexas Arlington K-8. “We need to remember that there are 21 countries that speak the language. That's why it's so important.”
Fernanda Rosas, an eighth grader at ILTexas Arlington K-8, hopes people can use the month to draw common connections across ethnic backgrounds.
“For me, Hispanic Heritage Month is so other people that aren't Hispanic can see my culture and they can see similarities and differences from their culture also,” she said.
For Dr. Carrasco, spotlighting changemakers within the Hispanic community is important.
“This is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate Hispanic leaders in our community,” she said. “Not just those that came before us in our past that have made up the history of the United States, but those boots on the ground now that are paving the way and leading our communities.”
*Hispanic Heritage month is being celebrated throughout the entire ILTexas charter. Each campus will have their own festivities planned. Additionally, we will be hosting the first ILTexas Leadership Speaker Series of the year, featuring U.S. Ambassador Liliana Ayalde.
Visit ILTexas.org for more campus news and events.