Imagine Charter School Presents Annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Before any of its current students were even born, Imagine Charter School at Weston established its Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Now in its thirteenth year, the event recognizes cultural diversity within the school and Weston community.

“Imagine Charter School values the contributions of all our culturally diverse groups that represent our school population and make our community a better place to live,” shares Biliterate Program Director Maru Arnott, who also serves as the third-grade team leader. “We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month across grade levels with different activities and projects. The celebration in the cafeteria embodies the culmination of all the month-long learning.”

Imagine Weston honors all countries from Latin America, as well as Spain. Each grade levels chooses a cultural topic to explore, completing various activities and projects which are shared with the entire school.

“For example, third graders completed a biography poster and presented it on TV during the morning announcements,” explains Mrs. Arnott. “Fourth grade completed a whole unit on Spain called la Madre Tierra (Mother Land). Kindergarten classes explored the culinary similarities and differences amongst the countries with a degustation menu for students.”

Of course, the day that everyone looks forward to the most is the annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Students dress in native clothing to represent the different countries and present cultural songs and dances. The show is presented twice, once for parents and a second time for the student body.

The program is presented by the school’s biliterate department. Imagine Weston was the first school in Weston to offer a biliterate program. It started in August 2006 with one pre-kindergarten and two kindergarten classes. Today is has two classes in each grade level, kindergarten through grade five.

“We are truly bi-literate, meaning students learn in both English and Spanish in all subjects: reading, grammar, math, science and social studies,” notes Mrs. Arnott.

The program has been highly successful, serving as a model for biliterate programs at other local schools. The students are also achieving high recognition. Mrs. Arnott says Imagine Weston students that graduate from fifth grade biliterate classes usually score at high school honor levels for Spanish-speakers in Spanish placement tests.

The Hispanic Heritage Month program is just one of many ways Imagine Charter School at Weston celebrates and honors diversity. “We celebrate holidays around the world, African American achievers, Women’s History Month, Holocaust studies, among others,” shares Mrs. Arnott. “We believe that the more children are exposed to information about the diversity around them, the more tolerance and empathy they will have.”