Haitian Heritage Month at Palm Springs ES

Haitian Heritage Month Comes Alive at Palm Springs Elementary School
Posted on 05/11/2021
Celebrate Haiti

During the month of May for Haitian Heritage Month, Palm Springs Elementary School is celebrating in a variety of ways, getting students involved in fun and educational activities. The wall of the school’s cafeteria is decorated with posters of Haitian heroes and other prominent figures.

Each day, students use the morning announcements to broadcast an historical fact about Haiti or a notable Haitian person. Students learn about Haitian history and explore Haitian culture, in addition to being taught basic facts about the country, such as its location on the island known as Hispaniola, its languages, the significance of the colors on the country’s flag, as well as its currency. The school fully embraces the spirit of the multicultural celebration, and the students benefit from the public displays of culture.

“As an African American educator, I understand the importance of celebrating diversity and encouraging inclusion in a multicultural setting,” said Lashawna Frierson, a kindergarten teacher at the school who decorated her bulletin board with images representing Haiti. “Early on in my career, I made it a top priority to learn the cultural backgrounds of my students, especially Haitian culture. By doing so, I have witnessed that the more you showcase and integrate their heritage into a lesson, the easier it is to get them engaged in learning.”

Wilmonde David, an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher at the school, asks her students to write about Haiti and she also teaches them Haitian songs. She uses her bulletin board to display the work her students have created, offering a public acknowledgment of her students’ cultural background.

“I am proud of my Haitian heritage and I want to help the students here at Palm Springs Elementary who are Haitian or Haitian-American to understand their culture and history,” David said. “I want them to be inspired by people who have gone through the same experience they are having, living as English learners and working to succeed in American society. I want them to be proud to share their heritage with others.”

The ESOL staff plans to celebrate Haitian Flag Day on May 18 by wearing special t-shirts emblazoned with the Haitian flag and pictures of prominent Haitian people.

"I am so proud of the teachers and staff here at Palm Springs Elementary. They go above and beyond to make sure children from all cultures are celebrated and recognized,” said Marjie Rowe, the school’s principal. “One of our highlights is the month of May when we, as a whole school, celebrate Haitian Heritage Month. It is such a great opportunity to build that strong sense of community that you feel when you walk the halls of Palm Springs Elementary.”

Haitian Heritage Month is celebrated in communities in the United States where there is a significant Haitian population. The School District of Palm Beach County is home to more than 14,000 students of Haitian descent. 

The School District of Palm Beach County