POUND RIDGE, N.Y. In an effort to celebrate the world's many cultures and provide more diversity to the school environment, Pound Ridge Elementary School will mark October as Hispanic Heritage Month.
The celebration was the brain child of new principal Tim Gembka. He said the school has a number of Hispanic students and faculty members.
It hasnt been done here before. This is something I took from my past experiences, he said. And even if we didnt have students of a Hispanic origin, we should be doing it to show students that its a big world out there. Its about exposure. We have Black History Month, we have Womens Month. Its just a matter of if we are doing it well.
Gembka said he previously worked at a school in Brooklyn that had a student body that was just 1 percent Caucasian. However, on St. Patricks Day, all the students would show up wearing green.
In New York, on March 17, everybody is Irish, he said. They would identify with the cultural celebration of that day. Thats the idea behind Hispanic Heritage Month.
Part of the month-long celebration will include a performance by Ballet Hispanico, a dance troupe headquartered in Manhattan, Ballet Hispanico's education and outreach division annually brings the groups blend of dance and Hispanic culture to more than 25,000 public school students and teachers in New York and across the nation.
There will also be ongoing displays throughout the school. The library will be displaying books with Latino-experience themes and the art teachers will create a bulletin board featuring the works of renowned Hispanic artists.
Gembka said since it is Pound Ridge Elementary Schools first year undertaking such a project, the staff and facility are still feeling out the best way to celebrate Hispanic heritage.
Its a question of how do we build toward next year, he said. Next year, we do more.
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