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Latino families gather for a cultural night of celebration

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Hillside Elementary hosted a Latino Family Night with more than 150 people in attendance. This was the second year of the event for the Latino families from Armstrong, Crestview, Hillside, Nueva Fronteras and Pine Hill elementary schools.

Tania Sprague, Community and Cultural Liaison for District 833, helped to organize the event for families to come together for a night of fun and to celebrate the Latin culture. All those in attendance had the chance to meet other Latino families and to build relationships. Mariachi music was performed by Michael Fernandez and Los Alegres Bailadore, a Mexican-folklore dance group, also entertained families with a dance performance and colorful costumes. Families were served rice, refried beans, tamales and several prizes were given away. 

“Many immigrant-families in the district do not have family relatives in Minnesota and feel isolated and disconnected from their own community. Some parents do not know how to navigate the school system or do not know what kind of resources are available,” said Sprague. “We need to assist these families to build these connections.”

Parents received information on various topics, including student attendance, English Learner (EL) Program, conferences, how to help their children with homework and how to access school services.

“I would also like our Latino students to be proud of who they are, their culture, their family traditions and the Spanish language,” Sprague continued.

“What I liked the most was the value of inclusion and diversity, and the richness of our Latin culture,” said one parent.