Hidalgo ISD participates in Torne de Ortografia!

     Hidalgo Independent School District (HISD) emphasizes the importance of bilingual education. The ability to speak multiple languages is essential to thriving in today's interconnected world.
     To showcase Hidalgo ISD’s contributions in the bilingual education, the district had the opportunity to participate in their first of many, Torne de Ortografiá, a Spanish Spelling Bee hosted by The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
     “This year we were thrilled to participate in the first Torneo de Ortografiá,” said Lizeth Cantu, Ortografiá Coach and first grade teacher. “The competition was a great opportunity for our students to demonstrate how Hidalgo ISD incorporates Bilingual Education throughout the district.”
     In total, there were 53 HISD students that participated in the Torneo de Ortografiá. There were six students from Hidalgo Elementary, alongside their coordinator/coach, Estefania Parra, eight students from J.C. Kelly Elementary, coach/coordinator, Puala Villegas, nine students from Dr. Alejo Salinas Elementary, with Dania Flores as their coach, eight students from Hidalgo Park Elementary, coach/coordinator, Lizeth Cantu, eleven students from Ida Diaz Jr. High, coach/coordinator, Mitzi De Los Santos, and eleven students from Hidalgo Early College High School, and coach/coordinator, Sylvia Martinez.
     Additionally, two elementary students placed, Luisana Hernandez representing Hidalgo Park Elementary, taking fourth place, and Ximena Rocha representing Dr. Alejo Salinas Elementary, taking third place.
     Each campus had their designated coach/ coordinator, that consisted of a group of teachers that volunteered their time and expertise to help prepare the students for the competition by representing not only their campus, but Hidalgo ISD, as well.
     The district is constantly seeking ways to provide the students with the necessary tools and opportunities to help them succeed.
     “Our priority was to prepare the students for the competition by incorporating Spanish grammar rules, such as the acentos, diptongos, and dieresis” stated, Cantu. “The students were engaged and excited about learning new words in every meeting/practice we had.”
     Hidalgo ISD fosters bilingualism by encouraging students in developing and appreciating the differences in cultures, while implementing and improving new social skills.
     It was quite a challenge for the students, but also gave them new learning opportunities in expanding, understanding, and enhancing their linguistic awareness and effectively speaking more than one language.
     “It was an honor to have our students participate in this competition, because as educators and administrators we’re looking for ways to build strong and supportive foundation for the pursuit of every student’s success,” explained Learning and Teaching Director, Martha Garza. “Providing our students with opportunities, such as this, helps them have an advantage in being Bilingual, and that's what we need to constantly recognize, especially here in our community.”
     The students were excited to embark on this competition, Torneo de Ortografiá, and are looking forward to returning next year.
     “Although we didn’t know what to expect, our students were fascinated during the competition and had a great experience,” explained Cantu. “The team is looking forward to participating next year, and I am sure more students from our campus will jump on board. I am grateful that Hidalgo ISD decided to be part of this learning experience, that I know was memorable for our students!”