Elementary students embrace Day of the Dead lesson

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

WEINER, AR (KAIT) - Thanks to a partnership, Region 8 students learned about a cultural holiday.

Weiner Elementary students, kindergarten through sixth grade, spent Thursday celebrating Day of the Dead.

Edgar Hernandez, the Spanish instructor at Weiner Elementary, said he wanted his students to do something to celebrate the holiday.

"Typically for Day of the Dead, you celebrate by making an altar, and you make sugar skulls," Hernandez said. "They are decorative, you can eat them, they're fun. We are making masks that look like sugar skulls instead because it's more representative of what the kids can do."

Each student colored their own mask while learning about what Day of the Dead means from volunteers from Arkansas State University's HOLA organization.

"It stands for Hispanic Outreach and Latino Appreciation," Hernandez said. "I felt it was a good opportunity for them to work with us seeing as they are for the Hispanic community."

While the name of the holiday may sound scary to some, Hernandez said it's all about honoring those you've lost.

"It's not a scary holiday, it's a commemorative, loving, nice holiday where you can kind of think back about a family member that's past on before us, remember their life," Hernandez said.

While experiencing the culture, students also got to sample bread of the dead.

Hernandez said it's a special bread made with sugar used to commemorate the holiday.

Sandy's Bakery in Jonesboro provided the bread to Hernandez's classes.

Hernandez said he hopes each student learns something and is inspired to look more into their own family history.

Day of the Dead is celebrated from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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