A Celebration of Heritage and Diversity


Glen Cove High School, in conjunction with the school’s ESL and Foreign Language Department and Herenia Padilla's Spanish Native Language Arts II class, along with Cablevision’s Power to Learn, hosted a celebration of Hispanic culture for “Nueva York,” a short documentary film that traces the epic migration of Latino people to New York in the last 70 years. High school juniors, along with the school’s ESL students, were treated to a sneak preview of the Cablevision-produced documentary.

Members of Ms. Padilla’s class participated in a question and answers segment with State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who was among the invited guests.

“In this nation, we are all immigrants,” said Assemblyman Lavine, who paraphrased an old African proverb when he added, “In order for us to know where it is we are going, we must first know where we came from.”

Joshua Perea, an expert from El Museo del Barrio, New York's leading Latino cultural institution, answered students’ questions via videoconference.

Ms. Padilla’s students also wrote and performed a classroom skit in which they discussed issues of immigration and cultural diversity such as the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Aliens) Act to allow residency to certain deportable alien students based on military service or four-year college completion, good character and years of residency. In addition, they read self-authored poems, displayed two beautiful murals they designed, danced a merengue on stage, and culminated their presentation with a display of flags of different Hispanic countries.  

“Glen Cove is a mirror of what makes America great,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Laria. “In Glen Cove we educate all of the people of the world. Diversity is an asset to be nurtured, not an impediment to be overcome. We are a family of America, a family of New York, and a family of Glen Cove and diversity is our strength.”

Glen Cove ESL and Foreign Language Coordinator Monica Chavez was instrumental in coordinating the event.