Last month was Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month and the students in Ashley Lovern’s sixth grade class at Timbercrest Middle School had the opportunity to celebrate with a read-in.
This heritage month is nationally observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx peoples from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
Lovern went to the local library and pulled as many books as she could that were written by Latinx and Hispanic authors and included Latinx and Hispanic protagonists. She went back to her classroom, organized the books by category, and put them in bins.
Students received brochures with questions inside to answer about their individually selected texts, and had conversations about what they learned with their classmates – both in small and large group discussions.
One student shared, “I read some poetry that is by Spanish authors and it’s bilingual. It’s actually really interesting and I’ve never done anything like this before.”
Another student explained, “I was just reading a book about Cesar Chavez and his strikes for farmworkers’ rights.” His classmate added, “…[Chavez] was protesting for Mexican peoples’ rights, work, and wages.”
One more student reflected about the read-in and stated, “I enjoyed learning about different cultures and putting thought into them and then writing what we learned about them down onto a piece of paper.”
When students were asked if they would like to do more projects like this in the future, they all responded with a resounding, “Yes!”
This read-in is an example of the culturally responsive teaching that the Equity and Diversity Department is preparing Northshore teachers and leaders to effectively implement in their classrooms and schools. The students are ready for these conversations and the Department is excited to continue to see the positive impact they are making.