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BCS Celebrates Hispanic American Heritage Month
BCS Celebrates Hispanic American Heritage Month
Posted on 10/12/2021
National Hispanic American Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct. 15, and classes across the Buncombe County Schools district have had a lot of fun learning about and honoring cultural traditions.Photos: (Above) A collage shows students at several BCS schools participating in events that celebrate Hispanic American heritage. (Right) Candler Elementary School Dual Language students dance during a National Hispanic American Heritage Month celebration.

By Tim Reaves and Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Department

National Hispanic American Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct. 15, and classes across the Buncombe County Schools district have had a lot of fun learning about and honoring cultural traditions.

Below are a few examples.


Ms. Marcela Falquez, Ms. Isabel Noguera, and Ms. Ana Esparza led first, second, and third grade students through cultural learning stations about their home countries of Ecuador, Colombia, and Mexico on Sept. 24. The students learned about the flags, cultures, cuisines, and geographies of the three Latin American countries. They watched videos about the countries, colored flags and maps, wore traditional clothing, and got to dance to some popular Mexican and Colombian songs.

“This helps us grow open-minded kids,” Ms. Noguera said. “They’re able to look beyond their own country. They get to learn about different countries and different cultures and develop an understanding of those cultures.”

Candler Elementary School Dual Language students dance during a National Hispanic American Heritage Month celebration.“It’s fun and interesting learning about different places,” said Nell, a third grader. “And I really enjoy dancing.”

Watch a highlight video on YouTube.


On Friday afternoon, Sept. 24, parents arrived to pick up their children and found a festive outdoor party waiting for them. As teachers helped students board vehicles, they cheered, wore traditional clothing, carried flags, and displayed colorful photos of Spanish-speaking countries around the world. It was part of the school’s observance of Hispanic Heritage Month and underscored an ongoing commitment to global education.

"It’s important for kids to learn that we have a big world with all different kinds of people,” said first grade teacher Gabby Martinez, who began her career in education 17 years ago in Mexico. “This is a special month, so we decided to have a big celebration to show our culture and involve our community.”

As part of the Dual Language Spanish Immersion program, Glen Arden employs teachers from Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and Colombia. Throughout the year, these teachers lead the charge in inspiring students with the language, music, foods, dances, decorations, and traditions of their countries of origin, along with more than 20 other Spanish-speaking countries around the world.

Read the full story.


Math students learned to make delicious horchata last week at Charles D. Owen Middle School! The hands-on lesson was led by math teachers and the families behind local restaurants La Bamba Sazón Latino and Cocula. It was a fun and memorable way for students to learn about proportional relationships during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“At the end of our morning, each student left with a real-world scenario of applied math and an opportunity to try a new drink,” explained seventh grade math teacher Mr. James Sapp. “Thank you to our family volunteers!”

In preparation for the activity, students created shopping lists and properly proportioned recipes in class. At the end of the week, they gathered in the school’s cafeteria in groups, and the restaurant owners explained in both English and Spanish how to make authentic horchata with specialty ingredients. After making horchata, each group of students checked their recipe calculations the best way possible… with a taste test!

See La Bamba's photos on Facebook.


At Clyde A. Erwin Middle School, Ms. Donna Hockman’s art students mix art and culture into a swirl of creativity.

To celebrate Hispanic American Heritage Month and Día de Muertos, her seventh grade students created calavera (sugar skull) prints. On Thursday, Oct. 7, the students traced complex designs, pushed those designs into foam with ballpoint pens, covered the foam “stamps” with paint, and pressed them onto paper. The designs varied in style, color, and complexity.

“The beauty of it is they draw one time and can make hundreds of prints with it,” Ms. Hockman said. “We’re learning about and participating in interesting art while also honoring a really important cultural tradition. Some of my students celebrate Día de Muertos, and they’re helping to teach their classmates – and me – about what their families do.”

Read the full story.


Tuesday, Sept. 28, saw a conference of kindergarteners in Dual Language Spanish Immersion classes across the BCS district.

As part of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, eight Dual Language kindergarten classes, along with the first and fourth grade Dual Language Classes at Avery’s Creek Elementary School, joined together for the multi-cultural presentation. Avery’s Creek teacher Giovana Andrea Hurtado Devia organized the event, which also connected the BCS students to a class at Colegio Bolivar in Cali, Colombia, and two authors – Marina Doña from Spain and Charles T. Koontz Intermediate School sixth grader Matías Pedemonte. Ms. Doña taught the children about the magic of monarch butterflies using her book “El sueño de Magalí,” and Matías read his book “Peter, la historia de un farero,” about a lighthouse keeper and wild horses.

“Writers use words that are deeply tied to human senses – words that, quite literally ‘come to life’ in the reader's mind,” Ms. Hurtado said. “Reading like a writer can help students understand their tools and craft, which can be used to their advantage in real-life situations.”

Read the full story.

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