Rowland Unified School District

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Rowland Heights School Hosts "Grand Fiesta"

Rowland Heights school hosts 'grand fiesta'

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

Blandford Principal Mercedes Lovie makes tortillas with kids during Latino Family Night. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)
Blandford Teacher Angela Reina shows students how to make a Papel Picado (Paper Banner.) (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)

Blandford Elementary celebrated its Hispanic heritage at its Latino Night on Oct. 18.

Families and friends from Rowland Heights celebrated the grand fiesta. The event was organized by the PTA and a team of Latino teachers.

"I think it's great. It teaches the children tolerance and understanding for other cultures," said Christina Meacham, whose 10-year-old daughter Mykel is a fourth-grader at Blandford.

Meacham manned the taco stand, where families could purchase combination plates with tacos, tamales, rice and beans.

This year's feast featured food from Peru, El Salvador and Mexico. There was arroz con pollo y papa a la huancaina (rice with chicken and potato salad) and pupusas con curtido (quesadilla

Arts Teacher Lora Bennitt has fun teaching students Cha Cha Cha and other dances. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)
with pickled cabbage).

Families could finish their dinner with churros, sweet bread and Mexican hot chocolate.

The dinner music was just as sweet. Dressed in their classy black and white outfits, the mariachi band from Hurley Elementary was a real crowd pleaser.

Celeste Montanez, 11, prepared her viola, while Dana Galicia, 9, and Jasmine Bernabe, 8, strummed their guitars.

"It's fun to play for people," Jasmine said.

Her 10-year-old brother, Christian, was practicing on his trumpet, playing the scales with 11-year-old classmate Miguel Carrillo.

"The high notes are hard," Christian explained. "But I like playing the trumpet."

The little mariachi band performed two songs for the

happy diners. The group practices two and a half hours every Tuesday and Thursday.

Afterward, Blandford students and their family members were invited to participate in several cultural activities.

Principal Mercedes Lovie taught the kids how to make tortillas.

"Latino night helps raise their cultural awareness," the popular principal noted.

Children kicked up their heels with teacher Lora Bennitt. The students had fun learning how to cha cha cha as well as other dances.

Still other families took advantage of the pinata making class. Others joined teacher Angela Reina to learn how to make papel picado (tissue paper banner art).

By the end of the night, everyone had been a winner, especially those lucky ones who won the Loteria Bingo.

626-962-8811, ext. 2801

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