September 15, 2021 — National Hispanic Heritage month begins September 15, and Midland ISD is celebrating in a variety of ways.
Our dual-language elementary school, Ben Milam International Academy, is celebrating all month long through a variety of courses and events that educate students about Spanish-speaking cultures around the world. Countries include Mexico, Spain, as well as nations from Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
"We feel programs like this are critical to the work we do as a dual language academy," said Milam Principal Brenda Jobes. "Learning about and understanding the cultures they are studying helps our students gain a deeper understanding of the language."
Each grade at Milam was assigned to a different country from the Spanish-speaking world. The students will participate in a variety of lessons about the history, art, and culture of their country. This may also include learning about traditional activities, dances, and games from each country.
On October 15, each class will tour the campus and "visit" counties in other classrooms, which will include displays about each country. The campus will also hold a school-wide assembly that will include performances by each grade level.
Media should look for more details about this event as October 15 nears.
One MISD campus is celebrating the taste of Hispanic Heritage as well! Students and parents at San Jacinto Junior High are spicing up Hispanic Heritage Month with a Salsa Competition! The "Sabrosa" Salsa Competition takes place on Mexican Independence Day, Thursday, September 16. San Jacinto families are invited to bring one cup of their favorite homemade salsa to the competition. Media is invited to cover the event and taste testing from 6-7 p.m. in the N Street Parking lot on campus.
Finally, MISD is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with music! Just this year, Legacy Senior High School and Goddard Junior High launched mariachi programs in their music departments. Orchestra Director Beau Garza pitched the idea last year.
"Everything that went on with the pandemic, we felt a lot of our kids were looking for a new way to get involved," said Garza, who now heads up the mariachi program at LHS. "We have so many different ensembles, but we realized that a mariachi band was one genre that was missing. This gives even more students an opportunity to participate in a new and different music program."
The program is open to students with all levels of music experience. So far 20 students have joined the mariachi program at Legacy.
"Many of the students in the program were totally unfamiliar with mariachi when they joined the program," Garza said.
Students are learning all the traditional mariachi instruments, including the guitar, guitarron, trumpet and violin.
"Part of being in the programs includes learning about the cultural aspects of mariachi," Garza said. "But you don't have to be Hispanic to participate; we have students in the program from every racial and ethnic background."
Garza says the mariachi band isn't quite ready for their first concert just yet, but plans to hold the first performance during the Christmas season.