September 15th – October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month with celebrations at each of our six Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) neighborhood conversion charter schools. Two of our schools, Hampstead Hill Academy and Wolfe Street Academy, serve a robust Latino population and have exciting programs for this month and throughout the year that celebrate and connect the school and neighborhood through cultural events.
At Hampstead Hill Academy, Rosalia Castelan, Community Site Specialist/Latino Outreach, leads the school’s cultural programming, creating engaging events and opportunities for Latino students to share and celebrate their heritage with the broader HHA community.
Throughout the month, HHA has included morning announcements about famous personalities who are Latinos/Hispanics and have made a difference in society. A Towson University shared her experiences as a Latina with the Leaders Go Places students in the HHA Middle School.
On October 12, the school hosted the Annual Parent Potluck to share Hispanic traditions through traditional dishes and crafts. The next day, Leaders Go Places enjoyed a performance of a traditional dance. HHA finished its celebratory events with its Annual Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead festival on October 19 in the evening. The holiday, which is celebrated mostly in Mexico on November 1st and 2nd, is like a family reunion, except dead ancestors are the guests of honor. Day of the Dead is a joyful time that helps people remember the deceased and celebrate their memory.
This month’s activities also focused on the future: raising funds for a school trip to Costa Rica in June 2024. Ms. Castelan organized after school bake sales featuring Latino dishes, snacks, and drinks.
Hampstead Hill Academy
Wolfe Street Academy, which also serves a large Hispanic community, started the month-long celebration on September 15th with Hispanic Heritage Day. All staff and students in every grade wore items that represented their country, culture, and family history.
Students from the following countries were represented:
- El Salvador
- Dominican Republic
Other school-wide events included daily morning announcements about Hispanic Heritage and the important impact Latinas and Latinos have had on the United States. Classroom activities included students researching Latin countries and sharing fun facts about their culture.