National Hispanic Heritage Month

By: Irania Patterson 

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the stories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 (Public Law 100-402).

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of the independence of several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.  Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, falls in this 30 day period.

This is a time to remember and learn about the many Latinos who have made a great and positive impact the US.

As parents we should teach our children about how Latino scientist, artists, writers, teachers, doctors, politicians, entrepreneurs, sport stars and many others have become examples to our children. In this way they can also be  inspired by their work and legacy.

But not only the famous Latinos have to be remember, we can also share with our children their own family history as a way to reconnect and feel proud of their own heritage.  For that,  I recommend, finding old family photo albums and talking about your own family.  Ask questions like:

-          Who do you think you look like?

-          Who is the tallest in the family?

-          Who do you think is the funniest person?

-          Do you know your grandparents last names?

-          Do you know how did they met?

-          Why do you think this relative has red or black hair?

-          Share with your children a song, a tale, a joke that brings back memories and feelings to you

For more resources and ideas to learn about Hispanic Heritage Month go to:

- Colorín Colorado Calendar of Celebrations 

- Nick Jr. – Flags of Latin America Coloring Pages

-  Nick Jr. – Hispanic Heritage Month Trading Cards

-  Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Hispanic Heritage Month Ideas 

 

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