Why should we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

At Think Together, we want to make sure our students feel connected to their culture and heritage in addition to learning more about other cultures in our diverse world. Throughout the month, we will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in our programs and across the organization.

Some of our middle school students kicked on Hispanic Heritage Month with learning baile folklorico in collaboration with their school’s Spanish club. After learning more about expressing culture through art, they got to perform their dance in front of students, staff and family members. We are so proud to be able to provide students with opportunities and cultivate a safe environment to express themselves and develop connections with their own identities and peers.

Continue reading for resources we’ve collected to do our part in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by learning more and creating a more inclusive environment for all.

What can everyone do to foster a more inclusive world?

Read. Listen. Learn. Discuss. There are so many resources that you can dig through to gain a deeper understanding. If you aren’t sure of something, ask.

In the last few years there has been an increase in SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) curriculum in the classroom. SEAL helps support five main areas of learning; self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Children learn to recognize and stand up for their own rights and the rights of others, understand the differences between people, such as cultural differences, and respect other people’s beliefs and values. SEAL also teaches children skills that are important for resilience, including managing feelings like frustration, anger, and fear, recovering from setbacks, and persevering when things are difficult.

This type of learning does not stop in the classroom, and it doesn’t stop when you become an adult. The other thing is, it’s never too late to start practicing SEAL techniques in your home, your work, and in your life.

What is the difference between calling someone Hispanic vs Latinx?

Language is constantly evolving, and the term Hispanic is used to describe many groups of people. That said, here’s is a breakdown of individual preferences to consider: 

  • Hispanic is defined as relating to Spain, or Spanish-speaking countries. The word was first widely popularized through its use in the U.S. Census of 1970. It typically classifies people based on language. 
  • Latinx and Latine are gender-neutral forms of the word Latino or Latina and refers to the geographical location of a person’s country of origin or their ancestors, typically with cultural ties to Latin America. 

You can learn more about watching this BBC video.

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How does culture make an impact on our identity?

Childhood and adolescence are filled with questions about ourselves, our identities, and determining who we are.

For children whose families immigrated to America, identities can become even harder. Many of them will experience the internal tug of war between wanting to stay connected to their roots and heritage and wanting to become more “American.”

Watch this video to hear directly from young adolescents who bring this discussion to life.

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Additional Resources: