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Mount Kisco Elementary School Holds Its First Hispanic Heritage Walkathon

MKES students pose with their passport books

“I just need one more!” a student called out to his friends as he ran across the sun-soaked field at Mount Kisco Elementary School. He was looking to get one more stamp for his “passport” during the school’s first-ever Hispanic Heritage Walkathon.

Brought to life by the Multicultural Committee — with help from their MKESA partners — the event sought to celebrate Hispanic heritage while raising funds for beautification and enrichment events.

“The Multicultural Committee is committed to breaking down cultural barriers, building cultural bridges and promoting cultural awareness and appreciation,” said Leigh Viviano, a learning specialist and committee member.

Joanna Breeding, a tiered teacher who helps run the committee, noted that students really seemed to embrace the event.

“Our students witnessed their teachers, the school’s staff and peers of all nationalities celebrating their Hispanic heritage,” she said. “Our Hispanic and Latinx students feel valued and empowered when they see themselves in the curriculum.”

During the Walkathon, students circled the field where energizing music played and a variety of themed tables were set up. The tables featured different countries, food, holidays and instruments. When a student reached one, they got a stamp in their passport book — an exciting experience each time.

“I got all of these stamps and I also got to exercise!” Nathaniel said with a big grin, holding up his full passport book.

While student excitement was a win in itself, the fundraising piece of the event was also successful.

“We raised over $5,000!” said Wendyliza Gonzalez, a Speech and Language Specialist who also helps run the Multicultural Committee. “We donated $1,600 to MKESA and more than $1,000 to the fifth-grade cohort. The rest of our earnings will go toward beautifying our school building and funding enriching multicultural events promoting cultural awareness and pride.”

MKES students participate in Walkathon