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From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month(Open external link) in the United States each year. This tradition began in 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson first issued a proclamation to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Week. Later, Congress passed a bill to extend the celebration to last an entire month, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988,(Open external link) and National Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated every year since 1989. The theme for 2023(Open external link) is “Todos Somos, Somos Uno: We Are All, We are One,” which reinforces the diversity inherent within the Hispanic community, as well as the power that comes from being a united community. 

The dates for Hispanic Heritage Month were chosen to coincide(Open external link) with the Independence Day celebrations of many Latin American nations — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua — that declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. Chile, Mexico, and Belize also each have their own Independence Day celebrations on days throughout the month as well. All in all, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates communities with roots in 20 Latin American countries and territories(Open external link) who make up over 19% of the U.S. population.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the countless contributions that Hispanic Americans have made to our nation, and especially to New York City, over the years. We also take this time to recognize the trailblazing individuals who fought for progress and equity for their communities. We encourage teachers, students, and families to explore the resources shared below to further expand their understanding of this rich and vibrant history.

Reading Resources 

The following book suggestions, listed by grade level, are a collection of new and classic titles about Hispanic and Latino history, individuals, and experiences that families and educators can read with their students in grades 3-K through 12 both during Hispanic Heritage Month and all year round. We hope you will enjoy and learn from these outstanding titles, which cover a range of cultural backgrounds, fiction and nonfiction genres, and unique perspectives.

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