Brentsville District High School celebrates Latino Heritage month
Posted on 11/06/2019
Brentsville District High School Latino Heritage Month photograph of students and a photograph of a display on a tiger strip background.During the month of October, Teressa Dedominicis, Brentsville District High School librarian, and English Language Learner (ELL) students transformed their library into a focal point for the celebration of Latino Heritage month.

Dedominicis wanted to foster excitement for diversity in the school. She tries to recognize a specific group every year. This year, she joined her library aides in celebrating Hispanic Heritage through various displays. Dedominicis said she wants students to feel welcomed and connected, no matter their heritage. The displays would celebrate diversity, give everyone a place to come together and talk, and build understanding and awareness in a fun way. What better place to do that than the library, the heart of the building, she thought.

Spanish Teacher Victoria Sampedro suggested putting a single dress on display to draw people into the library. After sharing this idea with student aides and the Library Advisory Council, the dress idea was shared more broadly and it caught on. Students loaned their dresses for the occasion. “We went from one dress to six overnight,” said Dedominicis.

The final display included books, photos, PowerPoint slideshows and other cultural items. In addition, students created a class mini-project using FlipGrid and QR codes. Students created short video segments sharing their favorite part of their culture. Several girls also shared their favorite quinceanera moments. This activity gave students a voice to speak to their peers and to share their pride in their heritage.

Many positive conversations took place in the library because of the exhibit. In an excerpt from a related class assignment, sophomore Mya Maldonado wrote, “The library display meant so much to me. It meant so much to me because people were brought into our cultures. They were a part of us just for a small amount of time.”

Students and adults learned from each other. Dedominicis said, “That’s really what the library is all about, bringing people and ideas together.”