M-Dade School Board endorses Hantman's proposals for fall events

Education Friday, September 6, 2013

The Miami-Dade County School Board unanimously approved three items sponsored by chairman Perla Tabares Hantman at a meeting in early August. The  Board is endorsing International Walk Our Children to School Day, Ethical Governance Day and Hispanic Heritage Month all taking place within September and October.

The Walk Our Children to School Day initiative promotes safe walking and bicycling to school.

"Whether it is walking to school or riding a bicycle, student safety must always be in the forefront of everything we do," said Hantman.

The Board voted to encourage all elementary schools in the District to participate in Walk Our Children to School Day festivities scheduled for the week of October 7 as well as implementing the "WalkSafe" pedestrian safety curriculum. WalkSafe was developed by the University of Miami, Miami School of Medicine, to teach students important safety skills to be practiced during the week of the event.

Ethical Governance Day is scheduled for observation on October 22 at each senior high school in the District, sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

“The Ethics Commission is committed to public education, training and community outreach, including educational programs for students," said Hantman. "The Commission recognizes the critical importance of providing students with the necessary tools to become responsible and ethical citizens."

The Ethics Commission is inviting various public agencies, professional associations and private businesses to participate in the program. On "Ethical Governance Day" civic and community leaders, elected officials, academic and political professionals, attorneys and other public servants will serve as guest speakers in American Government classrooms across the District.

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, and runs through to October 15. Observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week as a way of recognizing the many contributions of Hispanics to American history and was later expanded in 1988 to cover a 30 day period. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

"During the month-long observance, our nation celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans of Hispanic decent whose forefathers came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America," said Hantman. "There are an estimated 50.5 million people of Hispanic origin in the United States, making Hispanics the nation's largest ethnic minority."

The date of September 15 was chosen as the starting date for the observance because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their respective days of independence in September.