Discovery Elementary celebrates Dia de Muertos

Discovery Elementary celebrates Dia de Muertos
Posted on 11/08/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Discovery Elementary celebrates Dia de MuertosSubmitted by Sarah Fluckiger

This year at Discovery Elementary the teachers from our Spanish dual immersion program assembled an ofrenda in the front lobby to help students, staff and the community celebrate Día de Muertos.

This traditional Mexican celebration, known in English as Day of the Dead, is a time for families to honor and remember deceased loved ones during the harvest season. It’s often viewed as a holiday of joyful celebration rather than one of mourning as people pay their respects to and remember friends and family members who have died.

Discovery’s five dual immersion teachers built the multi-tiered display full of traditional brightly colored coverings, tombstones, flowers, esqueletos (skeletons), papel picado (intricate paper banners), candles (tea lights), salt, clothing, and pan de muerto (bread for the dead). Students, staff, and our community were then invited to add photos of their loved ones or place offerings on the ofrenda, including fruit, cookies, candy, breads, fresh tamales, drinks, and books. It was a truly amazing experience to see everyone come together to not only take part in the celebration, but to share stories and memories of their loved ones. Although we didn’t know them all personally, we felt a great lift in spirits to see the smiles brought about through all the fond memories that were shared.

One of the biggest highlights was the memories shared of our own Mrs. Linda Lynch. Sadly, she passed away this past summer, but by having her photograph on the ofrenda, we were all able to share our memories of her and listen to new stories of her time here at Discovery. This experience has given such a lift to all our hearts at a time when the world seems like a very difficult place, filled with so much controversy. We wholeheartedly want to thank our dual immersion teachers for making this possible and being willing to share their culture with us all.

The celebration of Día de Muertos has added another reason to the already long list of why we are very grateful for having the Spanish dual immersion program at Discovery. This program brings us teachers from different countries who choose to leave their homes and come here to teach us not only a new language, but to share their culture and lives with us. Since we began the program, we have learned that language and culture go hand in hand and our students are fully immersed in both. We have also seen that it doesn’t stop at the classroom door.

Our dual teachers have also taught our staff and community a great deal about their homes and countries. We consider it such an honor that our small town has this amazing opportunity, not only for our students’ education, but also for the glimpse into other parts of the world. We highly value the dual immersion program and would like to share some of our teachers and students’ thoughts about this great program:

“One of the things I love the most is seeing such young learners communicating so well in a foreign language; it´s amazing what they can achieve! Besides, I love that they have been given the opportunity to learn about different traditions, music, folklore, food, geography … and generally speaking, about the culture of different places and communities where Spanish is spoken. In the Spanish class, language and culture are part of the same whole. This experience gives the students the opportunity to see the world and develop their minds in ways that most of the educational experiences cannot. I believe this is a great opportunity for them and will bring amazing things to their future. I love being part of this amazing project.” – Inmaculada Garcia, 4th grade Spanish teacher

“My favorite part is teaching math in Spanish. Then, I love the fact that the kids learn and enjoy speaking in Spanish! I love that!” – Mrs. Belen Caballero, 2nd grade Spanish teacher

“What I like the most about the dual program is that I can share the culture of my country with my students. They love and enjoy it a lot.” – Mrs. Karla Deraet, 3rd grade Spanish teacher

“Porque puedo aprender dos lenguas y puedo aprender las tradiciones de los lugares donde se habla español.” (“Because I can learn two languages and I can learn about traditions from places that speak Spanish.”) – 4th grader Arabelle B.

“Pienso que la clase de español es como un mundo diferente. Es fantástica.” (“I think Spanish class is like a different world. It is so cool.”) – 4th grader Sofia J.

“Porque puedo ayudar a personas que lo necesitan y porque es genial saber las características de las personas de otros continentes.” (“So I can help others when they need it and because it is cool seeing the other characteristics about other people in other continents.”) – 4th grader Kale W.

“A mi me gusta aprender una cultura nueva y aprender dos lenguas.” (“I really like learning about different cultures and learning about two languages.”) – 4th grader Trevor C.

“Mi abuela es de Puerto Rico y me gusta hablar español con ella.” (“My grandmother is from Puerto Rico, and I like to speak Spanish with her.”) – 3rd grader Kache R.

“Me gusta muchísimo hablar español. Mi padre me va a llevar a España cuando esté en quinto grado.” (“I really like to speak Spanish. My dad is going to take me to Spain when I am in fifth grade.”) – 3rd grader Zora L.

“Es bueno saber español porque hay 21 paises donde se habla español.” (“It is good to know Spanish because there are 21 countries that speak Spanish.”) – 3rd grade Izzy R.

“Me gusta el español porque mi papá habla espanol.” (“I like Spanish because my dad speaks Spanish.”) – 2nd grader Eva P.

To see more photos of Discovery Elementary's ofrenda, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmXadcio
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