Happy Hispanic Heritage Month/Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana - Glen Ellyn Public Library
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Happy Hispanic Heritage Month/Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana

Posted: September 22, 2020

By: Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director

Want to raise your kids to be kind and respectful global citizens? Start this school year off by celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the important contributions and cultural influences of Hispanic Americans.

Celebrating culture through food, art, music, travel, and books is a great way to have fun while learning about different traditions. It’s an important part in creating a kinder, more inclusive world for our children and teaches all children to appreciate and honor both their own heritage and the heritage of others.
Here are some fantastic ways to start your virtual adventure: 
  • With the weather starting to turn chilly, warm up by making a batch of delicious, simmering tortilla soup from Kid World Citizen. 
  • To end the day with something sweet, curl up with a good book and whip up some frothy Guatemalan hot cocoa.
  • Listen to some children’s music from around the world. Putumayo brings you rhythmic and bouncy songs that will get you dancing! Try streaming the Best of Cuba playlist.
  • Watch the Disney movie Coco about Day of the Dead or the Netflix Indie favorite Pachamama which is an Incan adventure about protecting a secret and mysterious relic.
  • Create some beautiful art by making a Nazca lines painting from Peru. These are ancient sand art pictures. Or paint some vibrant and gloriously colorful Mexican Amate paintings.
  • Research and celebrate influential Hispanic Americans. People like Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, children’s author Pat Mora, or baseball player Roberto Clemente.
  • Indulge in some armchair travel by virtually visiting the giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands or the breathtaking Machu Picchu in Peru.
  • Read some wonderful books recognizing and celebrating the Hispanic American experience.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. This story chronicles the journey of a new mom crossing the border with her son in search of a better life. She talks about their struggles but also their joy in finding a place where they are safe and free. She learns to speak English by visiting the local library. The illustrations are absolutely stunning.
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh. This award-winning book is based upon the author’s interviews with Sylvia Mendez as well as news reports from the time. It tells the story of a 1945 lawsuit against segregated schools in Orange County, California. The court ruled in favor of the Mexican-American families and this compelling historical fiction helps kids understand the importance of an equitable education for all children.
Side by Side/Lado a Lado by Monica Brown. Farm workers are the backbone of our food system, and this book tells the story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, two unionized farm workers who were not getting fair and equal pay. This is a relevant issue today, and this compassionate narrative invites readers to think deeply about the working conditions for people who harvest our food.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise. A lush and beautiful celebration of the New York Public Library librarian who told children stories from Puerto Rico and spread the love of storytelling far and wide.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero. The joy in this book is contagious, as a young girl and her father take a magical motorcycle ride through their neighborhood together.