Banning Unified School District held their annual Language Celebration at Banning High School on May 15.
The event honors students who have worked hard to reach all the requirements necessary to be reclassified as fluent in English.
The celebration also recognized the students who are participating in the BEST Awards Essay contest.
The Language Celebration honored the hard work of students throughout BUSD, which included Cabazon Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Hemmerling Elementary School, Hoffer Elementary School, Nicolet Middle School, Banning High School, New Horizons High School, and Banning Independent Study School.
The celebration also had two fan dance performances by Lydia Liu, the Chinese Dual Immersion teacher at Central Elementary School and a Folklorico dance done by Laura Guerrero’s first grade class.
One of the fan dances features bright red fans and slowly paced rhythmic dancing, and the second featured very fast paced music with brightly colored pink and green fans, as well as rhythmic motions, such as moving from side to side, up and down, and even flips and formations.
At the end of the award ceremony there were door prizes. During this, Felicia Adkins, director or educational services, and Alfredo Andrade, school board president, gave one as a gift to the San Gorgonio Educational Foundation.
Students who were reclassified as having met the requirements for becoming fluent English speakers were given award certificates. They were also called up, by Adkins and Andrade, by schools along with their names.
However, the feeling of accomplishment went much deeper than just their award certificates, it also was very emotionally and mentally accomplishing for both students and parents.
“It feels pretty good. I’ve been learning a new language my whole life because my family speaks only Spanish,” said Thiago Mesina, a student at Central Elementary School.
The students were glad not only to know a new language but also because it is now easier to understand the people around them.
“It feels great because I can communicate with other people and can understand their language,” said Jazmin Plata, a student at Central Elementary School.
Their parents also felt good about their children working so hard and accomplishing so much.
Amanda Romero, mother of Lilyanna Bejarano, said that she is proud of her daughter and how well she is doing.
“I’m proud of them. They are in the Chinese Dual Immersion program,” said Jennifer Smith about her twins.
The path to success may be hard for these students but they also understand the hard work and perseverance a person needs to get where they want to go.
“Don’t give up. It’s hard but it’s worth it,” said Smith.
Language Celebration Award Recipients
Cabazon Elementary School
Angel Antonio Perez
Kaylee Garcia Martinez
Central Elementary School
Brian Calderon Gutierrez
Diego Caballos Martinez
Rafael De Jesus Campos
Jasmine Garcia Santamaria
Nylea A. Smith
Eitan Tamayo Macedo
Hoffer Elementary School
Diana Raygoza Marquez
Erwin Midence Reyes
Fernando Tovar Jr.
Nicolet Middle School
Teresa Elizabeth Zavala
Diana Valdes Robles
Banning High School
Grecia Paola Enriquez Felix
Bryan Gonzalez Bustos
Carlos Lucero Maya
Josue Vasquez Rodriguez
New Horizons High School
Banning Independent Study School