In the US, we annually observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week (under President Lyndon Johnson). In 1988, it and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.
Why is Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated staring on September 15?
September 15 is a significant date because it marks the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
Great Hispanic Heritage Month books for kids to get you started:
by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven, translation by Sandra Marulanda Dorros (Interest Level:Grades K – 2)
by Elizabeth D. Jaffe (Interest Level:Grades K – 2)
Carlos and the Squash Plant/Carlos y la planta de calabaza
by Jan Romero Stevens, illustrated by Jeanne Arnold (Interest Level:Grades K – 2)
El Piñatero /The Piñata Maker
by George Ancona (Interest Level:Grades 3 – 5)
Becoming Naomi León
by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Interest Level:Grades 4 – 7)
Before We Were Free
by Julia Alvarez, translation by Liliana Valenzuela (Interest Level:Grades 6 – 8)
by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Interest Level:Grades 6 – 8)
To learn more, please visit National Hispanic Heritage Month. And for teachers, the National Endowment for the Humanities EDSITEment Education Portal offers a exciting way to explore the history of Hispanic culture in America. EDSITEment offers a treasure trove of high-quality material on the Internet in the subject areas of literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, and history and social studies.
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