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Sykes Celebrates Scholar-Published Books on Hispanic Heritage

June 9, 2022

Sykes Elementary School
Sykes Elementary School
Sykes Elementary School

Sykes Elementary scholars and their families, teachers, and principal held a Hispanic Heritage Fiesta recently to celebrate the completion of a research-based book project by scholars on Hispanic culture. Since November 2021, Sykes’ English Learners (ELs) and 5th-grade scholars have embarked upon a study that has resulted in them publishing their own book.

First, scholars conducted research on a topic of their choice - Hispanic heritage. After choosing their topic, scholars were responsible for selecting a person or place, showing how that person or place was indeed a part of the Hispanic heritage, explaining why that person or place is important, and providing a scholarly recount of the information that was gathered. The end product is a twenty-page picture book with captions and text informing the reader about the topic.

The Hispanic Heritage Fiesta began with students reading their books to attendees gathered in the school cafeteria, which was festively decorated by EL Instructional Leader Teacher Assistant Mrs. Christine Woodard. Following the reading session, everyone proceeded outside to enjoy the savory fare prepared and served by Sykes's parents. Everyone enjoyed dancing, soccer, hula hooping, and each other.

The Junior League of Jackson provided grant-funded materials to conduct the research and publish the books for this project. Fifth-grade teachers Amy Burns, Patricia Fonville, and D’Audrek West helped to make the event a success while EL Teacher Dr. Cathy Dunstan coordinated this effort.

Sykes Elementary extends a special thank you to Interpreter/Records Specialist Julion Del Castillo for providing entertainment with his pan flute, a native instrument of Peru. Also, the school sends a special thank you to Sykes Principal Dr. Tantaneshia Houston for her support and approval of this project.

Sykes plans on recognizing and celebrating Hispanic heritage again during the 2022-2023 school year.