Celebration of Hispanic heritage returns for Norwalk students


NORWALK – The celebration returned to Fox Run Elementary School on Friday to appreciate the Hispanic heritage of its students.

The annual celebration of Hispanic heritage returned for an in-person event at the school after going virtual last year due to COVID-19. The school downsized this year’s event to keep the crowd size small, moving the celebration to just after school rather than in the evening and limiting it to one hour.

“It’s exciting to say the least,” said Carla Monteiro-Walsh, director of Fox Run Elementary, of the resumption of the event. “It allows for a sense of normalcy and community belonging that all schools seek. This is another opportunity to restore a new normal.

The school’s Hispanic celebration began in 2010 as a way to celebrate the many Latin American cultures represented among the student body. About 45% of the student body is Hispanic, and these students represent about a dozen different countries.

Families are invited to participate in the event to share their culture. Due to COVID restrictions, the school could not allow any outside parties to bring cooked food, so Chartwells provided a spread that included beef empanadas, pupusas, elote (Mexican street corn), and quesadillas.

The celebration also included the Spanish tradition of flamenco dance, presented by third-grader Paloma Arango and her mother Barbara. Paloma’s dance included the use of castanets and fans.

“I felt a little nervous. In the end, I felt confident, ”said Paloma Arango. “My favorite part was my solo. I have been working there for about a year. I learned it virtually.

Monteiro-Walsh and Lynn Sadlon, Director of Family Resources at Norwalk Public Schools, hope to continue to spotlight more school families with an international festival in the spring.

“We are looking in the family resource center for the opportunity to involve families. Families love to share food, music, dance, recipes. We have found that when we ask parents to share in this way, they are more involved in the school. The school is seen as a friendly place, a place to celebrate everyone, ”Sadlon said.

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About Bobby F. Lopez

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