Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized across the United States from September 15 - October 15 each year. Recently, Indianapolis Met High School, Goodwill’s traditional school for students in grades 9-12, celebrated Latin cultures by hosting an engaging and educational student assembly, as students have enjoyed similar activities in the past.
In February 2021, Indy Met held its first assembly since the COVID-19 pandemic to celebrate Black History Month.
“The Positive School Culture Committee had been exploring ways to increase positive culture in our school, and celebrating our Black students during Black History Month was one of many avenues we took towards promoting positive school culture,” said Halle Shine, math instructor at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School. “We also wanted to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in a similar fashion.”
With over 10 Latin American cultures represented among Indy Met students and staff, an assembly celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month was designed so all cultures could be recognized.
“Our committee especially wanted students to be involved in the planning and execution of the event as much as possible,” said Shine. “We gathered interest from our students to see who wanted to run a station sharing their culture or who wanted to contribute in other ways, such as by painting flags and posters of their countries that were used as decorations for the event.”
With the ideas of students and staff combined, the assembly’s participants could play Latin-based games, such as Loteria or Dominos; play Fútbol; watch Latin dances; learn basic Spanish words; participate in a Días De Las Muertas craft; and enjoy Latin American cuisine.
“Students of all cultures and backgrounds found something to enjoy about the assembly,” said Shine. “Whether it was watching two of their teachers perform the National Chilean Dance, tasting foods and drinks from different parts of the world or just learning something new about a peer, students and staff alike felt the positivity that comes from celebrating one another.”
Many students and staff with Latin heritage participated in creating a slideshow that introduced their country to the school, complete with pictures of national foods, historic landmarks and scenery. The slideshow was used during the assembly to introduce all students to the countries represented in their school and highlight a few special facts about them.
“Classes were entered into a digital challenge where they had to answer questions correctly about the information they’d just learned about their classmates’ counties,” said Shine. “All Pumas were also invited to submit Latin song requests. We got 42 total requests and made a lively playlist!”
Indianapolis Met High School is a best-fit school for students experiencing barriers to education, including teen pregnancy and parenting, homelessness, involvement in criminal justice and identified as special education. Designed to remove barriers by providing free, onsite child care, transportation assistance and family empowerment coaching, Indy Met ensures that every student has a college or career pathway post-graduation.
To learn more about Indy Met High School, visit indianapolismet.org.