“Latino communities comprise almost 20% of the U.S. population. The United States is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico. It is absolutely essential that CFS students develop Spanish language skills in the context of a Latino Studies framework. This approach reflects an understanding of language as social practice, one in which cultural awareness is understood to enable proficiency and the histories and perspectives of Latino communities are centered in language instruction for both “heritage” and non-native learners. This emphasis allows students to move beyond superficial understandings of language and culture towards a deeper and complex understanding of Latinidad and Latina/o/x lives.”
~Marisol Negrón, Ph.D, CFS Parent ’25 and Director of Latino Studies, UMass Boston
In light of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Spanish: Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana), CFS would like to highlight its new Spanish Language and Latinx Studies Program in the Middle School. Offering an interdisciplinary course of studies in humanities, art, culture, social justice, and society, each grade level will focus on an integrated unit ranging from early Latin American civilizations, ancient civilizations, Spanish colonization, immigration, US colonization, imperialism and social/solidarity movements in the United States.
In sixth-grade, students will focus on early Latin American ancient civilizations (Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Inca), followed by Latino immigration in seventh grade, and then resistance and solidarity movements in eighth grade. A selection of inquiry-based questions will challenge students to unearth various truths to formulate responses to such questions as: How do we know what we know about the Indigenous populations? How does individual and systemic oppression impact Latino communities? What are the ways in which we come to understand African American/Black, Puerto Rican and Latinx voices, stories and histories and what do these voices, stories and histories reveal about the foundation of colonialism and imperialism in the United States.
Many thanks to the Latinx Studies Program Committee:
Jack Hill, Head of Middle School and Assistant Head for External Affairs
José Espinosa Lopez, Spanish Teacher
Marisol Negrón, CFS Parent ’25 and Assistant Professor of American Studies and Latin@ Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston
About National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15):
In the U.S., National Hispanic Heritage Month (Spanish: Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana), recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of our country. The starting point of the commemoration is September 15, and was chosen because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21 respectively.