Attendees waiting for food to be served while enjoying the school band.

On Monday night, parents and students attended the Latino Parent Workshop Dinner in the PAC cafeteria. This event is a celebration of the English Language Learners program, which supports students as they master English in order to prepare them for high school and college.  

Lily Quinones, the organizing staff member, described the gathering as “usually a get together of parents in the English Learners Advisors Committee [ELAC] who set up a potluck for the students to appreciate.” Quinones explained that the purpose of the event is, “trying to get all the ethnicities from different communities together. For example, we have Polynesian students, African American students, Latino students from Guatemala and El Salvador.” It’s no doubt that the parents have created a sanctuary for M-A students to share their talents.

Christmas gifts, part of the tradition of the dinner.

Additionally, a noticeable band group took the spotlight on Monday — AlmostZach Meyer described the band as “originally deciding to play 50’s music, but then we decided to do our own stuff instead. This is the origins of a new band.”

For attendee Rut Aguilar, who sang at the dinner, traditions like the Latino Parent Workshop “are known as la posada,” or pilgrimage. Aguilar described, “I’ve been coming to this event since three years ago. For me, going to this dinner at M-A is nice because I get to meet other people I don’t usually see.” Above all else, for her, “getting the chance to sing in front of other people is a once in a lifetime experience.”