Each year from September 15 to October 15, our country celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month. ODA's Spanish classes celebrate the history, cultures, language, and contributions that Hispanic and Latin people have made in the United States during this time.
Lower School educators shared different aspects of Hispanic culture and facts with their classes during their morning meetings. Students identified 21 Spanish-speaking countries, read about famous Hispanic-Americans, and learned about the wide variety of popular regional foods. The end of the month was celebrated with the help of Flik, who prepared a delicious tres leches cake for all of the students and educators to enjoy.
In the Middle School, Spanish classes researched Hispanic personalities and created videos to share what they learned. Each video included their subject's heritage and outlined the person's contributions to the arts, the scientific world, professional athletics, or business. Throughout the month, each student’s research was featured during the morning announcements so everyone could learn about these influential individuals. The Middle School also held two assemblies to celebrate the history behind the National Hispanic Heritage Month and enjoy the music from the region. Middle School orchestra and choir performed "Viva Mi Vida" alongside talented singer Svetlana Maury Kondratovich ’23. The group also enjoyed a performance by Reinaldo Erazo, an amazing Venezuelan musician who played the cuatro, a traditional four stringed guitar.
Upper School students participated in a wide range of activities spotlighting notable Hispanic individuals during the month. Liam Frangos '23 created a slideshow featuring Domingo Liotta, the Argentinian scientist who is credited with the artificial heart and Avery Duffy '24 researched Quirino Cristiani, an Argentinian artist and inventor who helped develop a hands-free camera to aid in the creation of animated films. Students learned about renowned Spanish painters including Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dalí, Diego Rivera, and Fernando Botero.
"Hispanic Heritage Month offers the opportunity to share knowledge and reflect on the diversity of the culture of Spanish-speaking countries," said Mrs. Rozanes. "It is a great opportunity to encourage our students to embrace the values related to global citizenship."
Classes learned to salsa dance and many added Hispanic food to their cultural portfolios. Students prepared Hispanic desserts at home, visited Colombian, Mexican, and Peruvian restaurants, and tried many new foods obtained locally including fried plantains, Inca Kola, and Jarritos fruit soda. To share the cultural celebration with the student body, the AP Spanish Language class hosted an Upper School Hispanic Heritage Assembly in Petrik Thunderdome to speak about the diversity of Hispanic cultures.
"This is an opportunity for us, as a community, to affirm and demonstrate our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity for all of our students, staff, and community," said Mrs. Kirschner. "As a Hispanic myself, I am proud to be part of a community that embraces the diverse Spanish culture and celebrates their contributions to this country."