The Latino Heritage Club is proud to announce that during the week of virtual learning, Latino Heritage Club members volunteered their time to read bilingually to primary students enrolled in the dual language program at Oakwood and Countrywood. Despite the Latino Heritage Club members being unable to meet in person this year, they have all continued to provide assistance to our South Huntington community.
In past years, high school World Language teacher Aileen D’addario would bring her honors students to Oakwood and Countrywood to read to students. The high school pupils would then create their own stories as a class assignment, writing fairy tales with visual imagery that would catch the attention of their younger peers. This year, with the inability to bring students together in-person, the idea came about to ensure the continuation of the tradition but this time, virtually. “We’re always looking for ways to connect our older students with the younger students, and it’s so nice for teachers to see the growth of their students over the years,” shared Latino Heritage Club Advisor Maria Kaneris.
Second-grade Dual Language teacher, Ms. Grace DiNorcia, enjoyed seeing her Countrywood students be read to by her former students, who she easily recognized even years later. “My second graders really enjoyed Story Time with the Latino Heritage high school students,” shared Ms. DiNorcia. “It was really nice for my kids to listen to the older students read in Spanish. The high school students were fantastic at reading the stories and were great at keeping the second graders interested with their interactive read aloud and story questions.” With virtual learning a new commonality, it has been a challenge keeping students engaged. Co-Vice President of the Latino Heritage Club, Daniela Sagastizado, shared “It was nerve wracking at first because we wanted to entertain the students because we know how hard it is for them to be at home all day. We wanted to lighten up their day and it was fun because we got good responses and could tell they were paying attention and enjoying it as much as we did!” Historian of the Latino Heritage Club is freshman Aaliyah Mazara Rivera, who was just as excited to be a part of this event. “They were really funny,” she spoke of the students who had smiles on their faces throughout the reading, “It was nice to be able to read to them as well as seeing the same teachers that we had in elementary school.”
It is always a wonderful opportunity to reconnect high school students with their former elementary school teachers. It is even more rewarding to have our high school students, whom we are so proud of, connect with our younger wildcats! The connection between the two only helps the spirit and pride within our South Huntington community grow. This lovely event could not have been made possible without the help of Ms. Cecilia Blanco, club advisors Maria Kaneris and Priscilla Ramirez, and all of the Oakwood and Countrywood teachers. Thank you to everyone involved!
We hope that you enjoy this small clip from our heartfelt Story Time with Latino Heritage Club.