The Department of English Learners of Chicago Heights School District 170 hosted its annual Hispanic Heritage Night at the Chicago Heights Middle School on May 25th.
The event brought together more than 400 students, families, and friends to honor the Hispanic culture, customs, and traditions.
A highlight of the evening occurred when the students celebrated the traditions of their native lands by performing music and dance selections indigenous to those countries.
During the program, in which the Chicago Heights Public Library, Juanchos Tacos, and CHSD170s Parent Academy participated, the celebrants shared summer reading literature and superb Hispanic food dishes.
“It was so wonderful to see all of the students and their families come together in the school environment to socialize and celebrate the wonderful and diverse Hispanic culture,” said Shannon Vera, CHSD170’s Director of English Language Learners.
Vera acknowledged that since many of the students emanated from different countries with a Hispanic background, it was necessary to present an event that recognized the traditions and cultures of those different countries.
“Seeing the pride and excitement reflected in the faces of our students as they celebrated their culture was an amazing, emotional experience,” Vera said.
Dr. Gretchen Sutherland, CHSD170’s Curriculum Director, underscored the success and importance of the event to the district’s Hispanic community.
“The Hispanic Heritage Night was a fabulous success celebrating our community’s revered Hispanic culture,” Sutherland said.
“Activities such as this one that involve students, their families, and friends embrace an essential goal of the District 170 schools in providing an outstanding learning and engaging opportunity for the students while honoring the heritage and cultures that are such a vital part of our school district community,” she concluded.