Join us on Saturday, October 1 immediately following Garden Day for a Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month community event. The event will take place from 12:00 – 2:00pm on FSA’s campus (parking lot, playground, and greenway). We will feature a food truck, StoryWalk®, read-aloud story time, and an art station. This is a great time to enjoy community and fellowship while supporting both Tres Jardines, a Latino-owned food truck, Casa Alterna, a nonprofit organization serving the Latinx (and broader) community, and, Danceando Promotions, an event production company with the goal of demonstrating Mexican culture through dance. FSA families and guests from the broader community are welcome to attend.
For more information, please contact Kristen Clayton, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“National Hispanic Heritage Month” runs from September 15-October 15 each year. It began in 1986 under President Lyndon Johnson as a weeklong celebration and was extended to a monthlong celebration in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. It is a time to recognize, honor, and celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people in the United States. The dates are significant as they coincide with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American countries. Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica celebrate their Independence Day on September 15. Mexico celebrates on the 16th, Chile on the 18th and Belize on the 21st.
This year, our FSA Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month community event also coincides with Guatemala and El Salvador’s celebration of Children’s Day (Día del Niño), which is celebrated annually on October 1.
12:00 – 2:00: Art Station
12:00 – 12:30: Live music (Danceando Promotions)
12:30 – 1:00: Listen to What Can You Do with a Paleta? and Paletero Man while eating paletas!
1:15 – 1:30: Listen to Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories and When Julia Danced Bomba/ Cuando Julia bailaba bomba, two stories with a focus on Puerto Rican culture.
1:30 – 2:00: Listen to Islandborn, a story with a focus on the Dominican Republic.
The Tres Jardines food truck will be on site from 12:00-2:00 pm. Cash, credit card, and Apple Pay are accepted.
You can also enjoy the StoryWalk® on your own at any time during the event. The StoryWalk® will remain up for at least a month following the event for further enjoyment.
This year’s Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month event was planned in consultation with Anton Flores-Maisonet, Director of Casa Alterna.
Casa Alterna offers hospitality to individuals fighting for asylum and against deportation. Since 2020 they have hosted asylum-seeking individuals from over 50 countries, with most of their current residents coming from Venezuela. Director Anton Flores-Maisonet, writes, “Martin Luther King, Jr. had a vision of the Beloved Community, a society marked by reconciliation and redemption where strangers become friends. The arrival of asylum seekers to Atlanta is an opportunity to build part of King’s beloved community with those in need of refuge.”
The Friends School of Atlanta, The Atlanta Friends Meeting, and Casa Alterna have a close relationship. In 2019, Anton accepted a residency with the Atlanta Friends Meeting, and Casa Alterna is currently operating out of the Atlanta Friends meetinghouse. During the 2021-2022 academic year, FSA middle school students prepared lunches for asylum seekers seeking hospitality through Casa Alterna.
To learn more about the relationship between Anton Flores-Maisonet, Casa Alterna, and the Atlanta Friends Meeting, watch this video:
This year, our FSA Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month community event will include ways to further demonstrate support for Casa Alterna and the community they serve. Specifically, at Anton’s request, we will have an art station where children can make welcome signs and notes for recently arrived asylum-seekers from Venezuela. Additionally, we will have a donation box at the event where attendees can donate bed linens and gently used fall and winter adult clothing; as most of Casa Alterna’s residents are adults, no children’s clothing is needed at this time.
Casa Alterna is also currently engaged in a capital campaign to raise money to open a second location in Grant Park. Anton writes, “This seven-bedroom house will be a place where asylum seekers and U.S. citizens can live together and exercise their communal gifts of hospitality, compassion, and solidarity.”
Our inaugural StoryWalk® will feature the book Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol, a bilingual book written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Maya Christina Gonzalez “loves trees, rivers, and colors, among many other things. She has illustrated more than twenty picture books, several of which have won recognition from the Pura Belpré Award, Américas Book Award, and International Latino Book Awards” (Gonzalez 2014). Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol is published by Lee & Low Books, a 100% Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE).
As you stroll along the greenway, you will be able to read the book on signs dispersed throughout the path. You will also be able to scan a QR code on the signs to hear some of our students reading the book in both English and Spanish.
In addition to our StoryWalk®, there will be a read aloud station. Our read aloud station will feature five stories. First, children will hear two stories about paletas while getting to eat paletas as well! What Can You Do with a Paleta? /¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? is written by Carmen Tafolla and illustrated by Magaly Morales. Paletero Manis written by Lucky Diaz and illustrated by Micah Player.