Alexis Fischer and Aleena Malik


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place in the United States from September 15 to October 15 each year to celebrate culture and recognize contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans. The observation began in 1968 under President Johnson and was expanded by Ronald Reagan in 1988 to include the 30-day period. In assembly on Sept. 15, the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, a group of Crane Staffulty and students were assembled and led by Andrés Wood, Spanish Teacher. We performed a traditional birthday song, Las mañanitas, to celebrate Mexican Independence Day along with a number of Latin American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Within our Crane community many of these countries were represented, specifically Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Celebrating diversity, learning about traditions, and creating opportunities for cultural exchange are key components of our Spanish program at Crane. Mónica Calderón shared about the history of and her personal experiences with mariachi music. Sr. Wood donned an authentic mariachi suit (traje de charro) and led the group with his sonorous voice. He concluded by leading the assembly with a traditional chant of: a la bio, a la bao, a la bim bom ba, independencia, rah rah rah!!!

At Crane we have a number of families who are bilingual. We have students and parents who speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, Wolof, and Hindi. During the first week of school in Spanish classes, Upper School students talked about the advantages of being bilingual and why we learn Spanish. Some of the ideas they generated included:

  • You can meet interesting people.
  • It’s good for your brain.
  • You can learn about another culture and its traditions.
  • It might help later in the workforce.
  • Because we live in Santa Barbara, and there is a large Spanish-speaking community.

The list goes on and it was fun to hear their ideas.

For resources and more information about Hispanic Heritage Month visit: If you want to learn Spanish or another language, check out the free site or app Start learning another language today and let’s learn from and celebrate the diversity within the Crane community!

Alexis Fischer & Aleena Malik
Upper School Spanish Teachers