Since last Saurday, several schools in the 109 have been saluting Hispanic Heritage Month.

Tanglewood Elementary and Lily B. Clayton Elementary School, participated in the “16 de Septiembre” Hispanic Heritage Parade on September 10. “We traditionally have a float that the parents and children decorate in the parade,” Lily B. Clayton Elementary PTA President Nikki McInnis said.

At Paschal High School, Sabina Landeros, Spanish teacher and sponsor for the Hispanic Society at Paschal, is stressing the importance of showcasing Hispanic heritage.

“Because Paschal’s student body is about 55% Hispanic, I believe Paschal’s Hispanic Society is a great way to promote the Hispanic culture,” she said. “Not only [for] Hispanic students, but all students, and to [be] able to have their word heard though our club.”

On top of Paschal’s involvement with the parade on September 10, Landeros and the Hispanic Society is currently preparing a Hispanic Heritage Celebration show on September 30. They will offer two shows: once to the students at the end of the school day, as well as an evening show for the 109 community.

“[It] showcases some of our Hispanic students and their talents,” Landeros explained. “We have the mariachi come play and sing. We have students who volunteer to sing or dance. We also involve the teachers in folkloric dancing, singing in Spanish.”

With the exposure of the celebration at schools in the 109, representatives like Landeros appreciate the focus Hispanic Heritage Month.

“It’s important to celebrate, to remember some of the Hispanic immigrants and people who were born of Hispanic descent, who sometimes go unnoticed,” she said. “To give us a month to celebrate, some of these unknown people will come up.”

History of Hispanic Heritage:

National Hispanic Heritage Month began as a week-long observance, ratified in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was expanded to a 30-day observation by President Ronald Reagan, and enacted into Federal law on August 17, 1988. September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico’s Independence Day, Chile’s Independence Day, and Columbus Day (or Dia de la Raza) fall on September 16, September 18, and October 10, respectively. For those reasons, Hispanic Heritage month spans a month-long period between September 15 and October 15.