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.
- I'll Build You a Bookcase/Te Haré Tu Propio Librero by Jean Ciborowski Fahey and Simone Shin, Recommended for ages baby-3
- Drum Dream Girl: How on Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez, Recommended for ages 4-7
- Gathering in the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English by Alma Flor Ada and Simon Silva, Recommended for ages 4-8
- El Cucuy is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera, Recommended for ages 4-8
- Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, Recommended for ages 4-8
- Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa, Recommended for ages 5-8
- Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina, Recommended for ages 5-8
- Carlos and the Squash Plant by Jan Romero Stevens, Recommended for ages 5-8
- Drummer Boy of John John by Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac, Recommended for ages 6-9