PHOENIXVILLE >> Students at the Renaissance Academy had a blast Friday as they celebrated the end of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month every year,” said Nidia Wilson-Osorio, Spanish teacher and one of the event organizers. “It’s important because the kids can actually tie everything that they learn in the classroom with the celebrations. The whole Hispanic Heritage Month they get to actually experience dance, music, food, they do crafts and pinatas. It’s amazing.”
Students in grades kindergarten to 12 participate in the annual event that is now in its 14th year. All throughout the month, in the morning, students in grades 2 to 12 read the Renaissance Academy code of conduct in Spanish over the school intercom and experience lessons in each subject that integrate Hispanic history and culture.
New this year, students helped to raise money for victims of Mexico’s recent earthquake and Hurricane Maria, which left Puerto Rico in a humanitarian crisis.
“This year, we’re also doing a fundraiser to help victims of the earth quake and the hurricane. The kids are aware and we talked about the situation to them and already they’ve showed concern. So they make these ties to different cultures. Even though they’re different they can relate to them, which I think is important for our culture overall,” added Wilson-Osario.
The month-long celebration culminated Friday with the school’s Spanish Festival. Throughout the day, kids got to enjoy crafts, dance lessons, face painting, pinatas, a “World Cup” soccer game, a performance by mariachi band, “Mariachi Flores,” homemade Hispanic food and a competitive salsa making competition.
Students cooked Hispanic dishes and brought them in to be sold on Friday. All the proceeds went toward making next year’s Spanish Festival happen again.