Monday, November 4, 2019
Learning that transports students into the real world provides rich experiences, so a number of MPS schools took advantage of National Hispanic Heritage Month to provide context and framing for lessons. Experiences included dance, music, art, writing, research, and more.
“We’ve had so many inspirational moments through these activities,” said Marybell Nieves-Harris, principal of Milwaukee Spanish Immersion school. “Students love the creativity of these projects and they have the chance to live the experiences of other cultures or share the customs of their own cultures with their classmates.”
Milwaukee Spanish Immersion School hosted its annual Heritage Night to conclude Heritage Month. Families were invited to view student projects, enjoy performances, and witness their students using their Spanish language skills firsthand.
Fourth-grade students at Alexander Mitchell Integrated Arts School created research projects about Hispanics who have made a difference, then took their show on the road to visit veterans at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. The class was presented with a plaque and a hat from each of the four branches of service. In honor of Veterans Day, students are writing thank you notes to residents at the VA center, and more activities are planned for the future. “We have developed an amazing relationship with our heroes at the VA,” said teacher Sabrina Salvat-Montoto. “Our students are connecting with men and women who have fought in wars and have unique stories to tell, and the residents have been enriched by seeing our students’ work.”
Many activities have taken place across the district. ALBA School hosted a Hispanic Heritage Celebration and invited families to view their projects about the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs, and Tainos. Students performed indigenous music and everyone enjoyed the festive celebration.
The celebration at Forest Home Avenue School lasted several weeks, with students posting their Hispanic Heritage work on bulletin boards, and fourth- and fifth-grade classes engaging in research projects. Parents enjoyed a traditional meal at the monthly parent meeting, and students and families took part in the Mexican Independence Day parade with their cheerleaders, mascot, and a school float.
Students from Escuela Vieau designed artworks as part of the Dia de los Muertos Art and Culture Family Project. Their projects were on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum for a week, and families received free admission to view the works and enjoy the museum.
Fairview School and Allen-Field School created a festive atmosphere by designing bulletin boards, posting student work, and encouraging lively discussions in class about Hispanic/Latino culture and famous individuals. Students explored art, literature, music, history, and politics in Spain, Central America, and South America.