Harlandale ISD to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Harlandale ISD’s Bilingual/ESL Department will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, with a special celebration at Carroll Bell Elementary on Sept. 13.

This celebration provides an opportunity to highlight the wonderful contributions of our Hispanic-Latino community.  HISD is composed of over 13,700 Hispanic-Latino students, which is 98 percent of our student population.

Attendees will hear poems from San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla and a “testimonio” from H-E-B Director of Customer Insights Erika Prosper Nirenberg.

Quintanilla, who teachers literature and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University, become the city’s first male poet laureate. He will join the celebration by reading some of his published work. 

Nirenberg will share her journey from growing up as a migrant in the Rio Grande Valley to helping improve the quality of life among underserved populations through girls and women empowerment, education and literacy. 

Harlandale ISD Bilingual/ESL Coordinator Rosa Palafox-Torres invites students and community to attend the event.

“As a district with a rich cultural heritage and abundant history, we look forward to celebrating as a community,” Palafox-Torres said. “This is the first event of its kind for us, and we feel honored to have Mrs. Prosper Nirenberg and Mr. Quintanilla kick off our speaker series and celebration.”

During the celebration, Harlandale ISD students will display their Hispanic Heritage projects: The history of their names or “la historia de sus nombres.” Students interviewed their families to learn the stories behind their names.

Palafox-Torres encourages schools and the community to participate and share photos of their Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations using the #YoSoyHarlandale and #OrgulloBilingüe.

“The HISD Bilingual Education team has also incorporated this celebration into their lesson plans, which aligns with our district strategic plan. This continues our firm belief that Together Is Better,” Palafox-Torres concluded.

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