Children of all ages and their family members gathered at the Vida Charter School in Gettysburg on Saturday to celebrate Día del Niño, a traditional annual event celebrating childhood and children, the arrival of spring, the Cinco de Mayo holiday, the coming end of the school year, and a spirit of community and belonging.
The event featured face-painting, music and piñatas, arts tables, games and competitions, and traditional Mexican food. School representatives and various county organizations were on hand to educate about their services, help with enrollment for summer programs, and provide important community information. Organizations represented included WellSpan Health’s outreach program Paz la Voz; YWCA Hanover; PathStone Child & Family Development Services; and many others.
A typical Mexican tradition, the last day of April marks a national celebration of children and childhood, emphasizing the significance of children in their culture. Modern-day celebrations are focused on making children loved and appreciated, emphasizing literacy and diversity, introducing families to community resources, and recognizing the importance of their culture and heritage.
Vida Charter School is a public, Spanish and English dual language school for grades K through 6, located in Gettysburg. Its mission is to “prepare children for life by nourishing the students’ minds and bodies in both English and Spanish…., fostering success in a diverse world through holistic education encompassing literacy and numeracy, socio-cultural competence and wellness”. More information on this school can be found at https://www.vidacharterschool.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/VidaCharterSchool/.
Featured image: Día del Niño hosts (l-r): Kerri Smith, 2nd grade teacher; Christie Miller, Executive Director; Victor Fonseca, second grader; Sonia Gonzalez, 3rd grade teacher
Donate Gardner, freelance reporter, came to Gettysburg in 2021 from Montgomery County, Maryland. A former linguist-turned-legal professional, Donate recently retired from the corporate world and is eager to support her new community in a variety of ways. As an immigrant born, raised, and educated in Germany, Donate still maintains a strong connection to the German language as a freelance writer and translator. Donate is an active musician and has made her new home in Gettysburg available to host house concerts for traveling musicians and local artists in need of support. Donate and her husband have two daughters and three grandchildren.