Chicago charter schools bring Hispanic Heritage Month into students' homes

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For most schools, Hispanic Heritage Month used to mean a trip to the museum or students listening to lectures. But the COVID-19 crisis has caused them to re-think that celebration.

One Chicago school is celebrating the culture in a brand new way.

"We are bringing Hispanic Heritage Month into the homes of everyone alongside some amazing partners via Zoom," said Lucy Weatherly, with Intrinsic Schools.

It's a major production, spread out over five nights this week at Intrinsic Charter Schools. This time around they are shaking things up.

"We're doing some dancing, some culinary experiences, some slam poetry," Weatherly said.

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And it's all online.

The students would usually go on daytime field trips for Hispanic Heritage Month and listen to a few speakers. Well, this pandemic pivot has brought prime-time productions into their homes, for the entire family to enjoy.

"It was fantastic. We were able to see, virtually see, parents and dads and moms, just everybody dancing in their living rooms," Weatherly said. "And we had teachers dancing; everyone just had a good ole time in the safety of their own homes."

And they really got into it.

"Everyone had to get their ingredients ready so that they could cook along," Weatherly said. "Everyone's going to the grocery store, doing their thing. It's so exciting to see everyone want to be engaged."

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It's a virtual celebration that could not come at a better time.

"To see everyone just break away from everything that's going on and take a mental break and just look forward to what's coming next, I'm over the moon, over the moon!" Weatherly said.

And apparently, so are a whole lot of students.

No matter what happens, school officials said they may continue this style of celebration because they include entire families.

The lessons will remain online for others to enjoy at intrinsicschools.org.
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