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Rough Draft Atlanta
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High Point Elementary School students in Spanish classes with Ana Arias created paper heritage dolls to learn about famous Latinos from Spanish-speaking countries.
Arias began her second year of teaching this August. But last year just a month after starting as a teacher, she was asked by the parent liaison what her plans for Hispanic Heritage Month were. She suggested that Arias have her students research famous Latinos.
“I went home and researched different Hispanic Heritage ideas and discovered paper heritage dolls.  I thought it was a cute idea for kindergarten through second-grade students to create the dolls while 3rd – 5th graders researched the Famous Latinos,” Arias said.
She thought it was a cute idea to have young students realize the diversity and differences among Spanish-speaking countries as they had fun making the heritage dolls. Each student named the country of the doll and added a fun fact they learned. Some students added the country’s flag to the doll, and now the walls of High Point Elementary are filled with heritage dolls, posters about famous Hispanics and facts about Spanish-speaking countries.
High Point Elementary Principal Danielle Miller said that Arias assigned different countries to different grade levels so students would learn about the many Latino countries. That enables them to see the different cultures and the diversities of things like beliefs and apparel.
High Point is the most diverse school Miller said she’s been assigned as an administrator.
She recruited Arias, who had been teaching for many years, to head the Spanish program. Arias transformed the program beyond learning Spanish to also getting immersed with that culture, Miller said.
Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.

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