Springfield Prep Charter honors Latinx culture while raising money for good cause

Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 1:42 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2022 at 12:02 AM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A celebration held in Springfield Saturday allowed families to share their Latin American heritage while donating to a good cause.

On Saturday, Springfield Prep Charter School kicked off their first annual Latinx Heritage Month Block Party with plenty of food, family, and dancing.

“I’m so glad to be Puerto Rican and be Latin,” said Pirulas, Pastry, and More owner, Dashira Avino. “That’s important to me.”

Avino shared southern Puerto Rican desserts not commonly found in western Massachusetts. She said that Springfield Prep’s appreciation for Latin culture is heartwarming.

Puerto Rican desserts made by Pirulas, Pastry, and More, owned by Dashira Avino
Puerto Rican desserts made by Pirulas, Pastry, and More, owned by Dashira Avino(Western Mass News photo)

“I appreciate so much that my kids are in a school that celebrates this and is proud of us,” she said. “It’s an honor for me to bring Puerto Rican desserts, different ones that you can’t find any place here.”

Springfield Prep Charter School boasts a majority Latin American student body. The school reports that more than 70% of its students come from Hispanic backgrounds.

Aidelyz Ruiz-Robles teaches at the school, and she said that her class of 3rd graders were excited to share all their culture has to offer.

“My students were super excited to just get to hang out with their families, to have their families celebrate their culture in the school,” Aidelyz Ruiz-Robles said. “They’re also going to get to dance salsa and bachata. Just to be able to do that together with the students and the teachers and with the staff, and just come to school on a Saturday to do something fun, my students were super excited about that.”

Students performing at Springfield Prep Charter School's Latinx Block Party 100122
Students performing at Springfield Prep Charter School's Latinx Block Party 100122(Western Mass News photo)

Other than the celebration of culture, the school came together for another purpose. Community members were called to make a donation toward the Hurricane Fiona relief efforts that devastated Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other affected areas in the Caribbean.

“It means a lot, what Puerto Rico is going through right now,” said Springfield Prep Charter School parent, Ivelisse Soto. “There’s still areas that have no power, as Aidelyz said. Helping them makes them feel good and covers their necessities.”

The school hopes that their celebration will help fund a good cause.

If you would like to fund the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to help them rebuild after the destruction of Hurricane Fiona, you may do so here.