DCAEYC Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from September 15th to October 15th, celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Originating as a week-long celebration in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, it was later expanded to a month in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.

Have you ever wondered why unlike other heritage months, National Hispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of the month? The September 15th start date isn’t arbitrary. In fact, it’s quite significant. Many Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, celebrate their independence on September 15th. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days right after on September 16th and September 18th respectively.

DCAEYC encourages educators to be culturally inclusive by incorporating various cultures into their curriculum. While anytime is a good time to highlight Hispanic culture, Hispanic Heritage Month provides a great opportunity to especially highlight the shared history of our Latin American neighbors. Ready to start? Check out the resources below.

Book Suggestions:

- Looking for Bongo by Eric Velasquez - Recommended for ages 3-6

- Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza and Alyssa Bermudez - Recommended for ages 3-7

- Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita by Angela Dominguez - Recommended for ages 4-7

- Tito Puente, Mambo King/Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown, Rafael Lopez - Recommended for ages 4-8

- La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya and Juana Martinez-Neal - Recommended for ages 4-8

- Tortillas and Lullabies by Lynn Riser and Corazones Valientes - Recommended for ages 4-8

- I love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada and Elivia Savadier - Recommended for ages 5-8

- Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers and Julie Maren - Recommended for ages 5-8

- Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh - Recommended for ages 6-9

Online Resources:

NAEYC - Celebrating Hispanic Heritage and Eating Right with José-Luis Orozco

Library of Congress - Library of Congress Resources for Teachers

Share My Lesson - Hispanic Heritage Month Activities and Resources from Share My Lesson

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