National Hispanic Heritage Month is coming to an end and MCPS schools have celebrated with a variety of events and activities.
Montgomery Blair High School held a special bilingual panel called Sí Se Puede. Bilingual panelists talked with more than 100 students about their cultural backgrounds, heritage, and professional and life experiences. The editors of La Esquina Latina, the Spanish section of the school newspaper, Silver Chips, served as moderators of the panel. They discussed each panelist’s background and asked how their Hispanic heritage influenced their careers and life choices. Watch the video.
Students at Gaithersburg High School held a quinceanera and cultural fashion show on Oct. 9. About 14 students showed off their dresses to a crowd of fellow students. The event also highlighted different styles of dresses from various Hispanic cultures.
MCPS Celebrates Walk to School Day
Hundreds of MCPS students, staff and community members celebrated International Walk to School Day on October 10. The annual event promotes pedestrian safety, physical activity and environmental preservation. MCPS, law enforcement and county officials joined members of the Gaithersburg Elementary School community for the walk to the school and a special assembly.
Amerigroup donated 1,000 pedometers to Gaithersburg students. The pedometers will be used for the Soaring Eagles Step Challenge, which will run from Oct. 10–Nov. 7. Prizes will be awarded to the student in each grade who accumulates the most steps.
SCUP Conference Brings Together School and Community Partners
The 19th annual School and Communities United in Partnership (SCUP) Conference was held on Oct. 5. The keynote speaker was Dr. Todd Peters, director of Child and Adolescent Services for the Sheppard Pratt Health System. Each year, the conference emphasizes barriers affecting the equal opportunity and development of MCPS children, and offers strategies to approach them. This year’s attendees discussed a variety of topics, including immigration, stress, helping students after a concussion, providing counseling supports for LGBTQ youth, and substance use and abuse.
In the video below, MCPS Spotlight talks with Steven Neff, director of pupil personnel services, about the School and Communities United in Partnership Conference, where community agencies and school services connect to learn about resources that can support students and families.
Ashburton Elementary Wins Grant for Its School Garden
The Ashburton Elementary School Garden is blooming. The Green Thumb Club started its third session earlier this month and harvested many colorful vegetables. Students in third, fourth and fifth grades participate in the hands-on after school club in the school’s courtyard garden. Students observe, learn about, plant and maintain a garden as they watch it grow. Students also explore other topics such as waste reduction, recycling, energy conservation, composting and pollution prevention. Last year, kindergarten teacher Erin Burrell was awarded a $3,850 grant from Lowe’s Toolbox for Education to be used by the Green Thumb Club and Ashburton School Garden. The money bought a large storage shed, picnic tables, umbrellas, and tools and accessories. The Green Thumb Club is co-sponsored by Burrell and first grade teacher Kaye Rillera.