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Mill Creek fiesta celebrates culture of many students

Mill Creek Middle School students on Oct. 7 enjoy tacos with fresh limes and other authentic food from Hispanic countries (courtesy)

Comstock Park — As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Mill Creek Middle School students and parent volunteers enjoyed a fiesta on Oct. 7. Mandy Bernal-Hill, PBIS coordinator and event organizer, wanted it to center around food and music.

Students at all three lunch hours sampled tajin spice sprinkled on pineapple and fresh limes on their taco meat, as well as Mexican candy. They put together a playlist of their favorite songs, and some wore flags representing Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Volunteers also assembled paper flowers, and an interactive board that displayed information about famous people from Hispanic countries.

Eighth-grader Araceli Torres-Perez enjoys the Banda style of Mexican music and helped put together the fiesta playlist. One of more than 100 Hispanic students at Mill Creek representing 27 percent of the student body, Araceli moved from Mexico to Comstock Park about a year ago and is quickly learning English. Being a part of the planning for the fiesta helped boost her confidence, said Bernal-Hill.

Mandy Bernal-Hill, PBIS coordinator at Mill Creek Middle School, left, with fiesta student organizers Jazmin Dominguez, Natalie Benitez, Angel Martinez-Alcauter, Amaya Quiroga and Jozlynn Juarez (courtesy)
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Karen Gentry
Karen Gentry
Karen Gentry covers Comstock Park. She moved to the Grand Rapids area in the mid-1980s and has been a resident of Comstock Park since 2002. She understands the complexity, rewards and challenges of the teaching profession as she has five years of experience as a high school teacher at River Valley High School in Three Oaks, Mich. and St. Stephen High School in Saginaw. As a reporter for the Advance Newspapers and Mlive she covered Sparta, Kent City and Northview schools. She is happy to be a part of the great team of journalists at School News Network and writing about Comstock Park Public Schools. She is a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School in St Joseph, Michigan and Central Michigan University. Read Karen's full bio


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