Washington Elementary in Summit Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Day
Friday, October 5, 2012 • 10:21pm
SUMMIT, NJ- Summit is not just known for its beautiful downtown, but for its diverse community as well. Friday was Hispanic Heritage Day in Summit and Washington Elementary School celebrated.
In their third year of commemorating the Hispanic culture at the school, Principal Lauren Banker said the students, parents and faculty had a blast. Each year it gets better, she said.
“They wanted to show their culture off to the school,” Banker said. “It’s an opportunity for us to show pride in our cultures.”
The event is organized by Spanish teacher Anna Ventoso and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Anna Gomez. Ventoso said because of the large Spanish speaking population in the school, they decided to create this fun-filled event a few years ago.
She was assisted by her fifth grade students, who are in the club “Ole Ole,” which is a leadership program for Spanish speaking students who participate in community activities throughout the year.
The students from “Ole Ole” did some speaking throughout the event and told the audience interesting facts about Costa Rica, which the students focused on this year.
“We wanted to provide them with an opportunity to do some leadership activities in school,” Ventoso said.
Each year, they dedicate October 5th to Hispanic heritage and celebrate various Spanish speaking countries. There are 14 Spanish speaking countries represented in the school and each country had a table at the event with artifacts and memorabilia donated by parents of children at the school. The countries on display included Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain and Uruguay.
The families really get involved and enjoy it, Ventoso said. Without their help, it wouldn’t be possible, she added.
The Summit High School percussion band also played “the Brazilian Street Dance." Maleku, a group up of four Summit women dressed in native clothing, performed a few native Costa Rican dances. The event concluded with the children waving the flags of their respective nations and everyone sang “Wave your Flag” in English and Spanish.
“The children are really excited about it,” Ventoso said.