In recognition of March being National Music and Literacy Month, administrators at the Remsenburg/Speonk Elementary School recently introduced students to the music and folktales of South America, Central America and Spain. The initiative was headed by music teacher Michelle Quigg and school librarian Laureen Andrea.
Students learned about the traditions of different areas of the world through cooking and tasting demonstrations, by reading about different cultures and studying Latin dances. Students enjoyed a sampling of Mexican hot chocolate to kick off the month-long celebration. Fifth- and sixth-graders prepared tamales that were served during lunch one recent Friday.
Students also enjoyed a musical performance by Andes Manta, a quartet that performs traditional music from the Andean mountains of South America. The four musicians, all brothers from Ecuador, treated children by playing music rooted in the cultural heritage of the Incas and their ancestors. Afterward, the musicians held a workshop for students and helped them make their own pan pipe instruments.
Children practiced Latin dances with teachers Mrs. Davis and Mr. Napolitano and, on March 28, showed what they learned by putting on a show while wearing traditional folk costumes.