A group of people are serving themselves food from a long table. There are colorful tablecloths

To celebrate the close of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Arkport Central School District’s International Club hosted a dinner for the school community. 

The International Club invited Arkport CSD families of Hispanic heritage to prepare recipes that represent their culture and share the dishes with other members of the school community. Many families were eager and happy to participate. 

They prepared meals at home, with ingredients purchased with grant funds from the Tony Cook Memorial Grant, which is administered through the American Institute for Foreign Studies (AIFS).

The day of the event, International Club students decorated the space and had traditional Mexican clothing, artifacts, art, clay pots and cookware on display.

With festive music playing, a feast of main dishes, side dishes and desserts was served buffet style, with the cooks available to discuss the significance of the dishes and to answer questions about the recipes. Food is very important in Hispanic culture, as it makes connections to heritage and identity while also bringing families together. This was certainly the case, as Arkport families enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere, delicious food and the chance to socialize and spend time with others. Those in the district’s Hispanic community viewed the event as a chance to give back to the Arkport community as a whole, while also providing the opportunity for Hispanic culture to be showcased. 

All Arkport school families were invited to the dinner via the Remind app and through classroom teachers, with approximately 200 people attending. International Club advisor Tina Broderick and teacher Jaclyn Ford, who organized and did much of the community outreach for the event, agreed the evening was a great success. Discussions have already begun about how to improve and grow the event next year. 

About Hispanic Heritage Month

Dating back to 1988, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed In the United States from September 15 to October 15 to celebrate the history, cultures, contributions and traditions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.