Hispanic Heritage Night celebrates culture
Todos son bienvenidos! The phrase translated in English meaning “all are welcome”, was definitely true for Hispanic Heritage Night Oct. 11 at Harvey High School in Painesville.
It was the first year for the district-wide event that celebrated culture, recognized the achievements of English Language Learners and raised money for a new scholarship that supports Hispanic students.
A committee of about five organized the event.
One of those committee members, Ruth Haines, who is also the director of the English Language Learner program, said the scholarship will be named in honor of Virginia Hoose, who was started the ELL program in Painesville Schools.
“Every bit of her life was dedicated to working with the families in this community and helping them in any way she could,” Haines said. “She helped students in school, helped them to graduate and helped them beyond graduation. She’s an amazing woman.”
Proceeds from the raffle tickets and salsa/pazole competition
will benefit the scholarship. While raising money for a good cause, guests got the opportunity to experience authentic dishes from Mexico.
Other vendors sold tacos, mangoneadas, street corn and Puerto Rican pastries.
In addition to authentic food, there was also a variety of cultural music.
The seventh grade Chorus, Harvey High School Concert Choir, Harvey High School Jazz Ensemble and the Los Kbros band performed.
The audience also enjoyed a quinceañera-inspired dance.
Haines noted that the event ran successfully with the help from many teacher and student volunteers.
Harvey High School seniors David Moreno and Ruby Aboytes said they were delighted to dedicate their time to an event that they felt celebrated diversity and culture.
Superintendent John Shepard, who also served on the committee, was pleased with the turnout.
“I’m very proud that my community came together to support this cause,” Shepard said.
“It shows that we’re a strong and unified community.”
Numerous community partners were present including Painesville City Council, Painesville Administration, NAACP, YMCA and the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission.
Students perform a quinceañera-inspired dance at Hispanic Heritage Night Oct. 11 at Harvey High School in Painesville.