Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School held its first ever Latin Dance Night on December 8. Students, parents, teachers, and staff came in droves to the school’s auditorium to enjoy tamales, pan dulce, live music from San Diego’s own Buena Vista SoCal Club, and to dance the night away with family and friends.
The event was sponsored by the school’s English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC), whose primary purpose is to advise the school and the district regarding instructional programs and support services for English Learners. Although Barnard students spend at least 50% of their school day learning in Mandarin, its student population represents a mix of backgrounds and ethnicities. For many students, Mandarin is the third, fourth, or even fifth language that they are learning, and English is not always the language spoken at home. The Latin Dance Night is one of many free events at the school that highlight and celebrate the diversity found within Barnard’s community.
“Events like this remind me how great it is to attend a school as diverse as Barnard,” said first grade parent Roberto Alvarez, who taught salsa dancing to attendees at the event. “I’m also happy to see the Barnard community come together to celebrate and support the real reason that we participate in these events, our children.”
Even though the band finished playing and the papel picado was removed from the ceiling that night, the event will not soon be forgotten. That salsa beat is sure to remain in every student’s heart for months to come.
For more information on Barnard Elementary School or to find out about the District’s School Choice program, visit sandiegounified.org/barnard.