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PA Department of Education Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month at Ben Chambers Elementary School

09/22/2022

Chambersburg, PA - Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Executive Deputy Secretary Dr. Debora Carrera today visited Ben Chambers Elementary School to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the school’s third- through fifth-grade students.

“I am a proud educator, lifelong learner, and Hispanic leader, and I was happy to share my experiences with the school’s young students today,” said Dr. Carrera. “Pennsylvania is for everyone, and this Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the Hispanic educators, students, and families who call our commonwealth home.”

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually from September 15 to October 15 and celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This year's theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation." The theme encourages us as a nation to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation.

“We were so honored to have Dr. Carrera visit Ben Chambers and share her story with our students. This is a great opportunity for all our students, especially our Hispanic students, to learn that through hard work and motivation they can achieve great things, said Principal Shawn Kimple. “The Ben Chambers student population is a strong representation of the Chambersburg community, and we want all our students to dream bigger than themselves. Dr. Carrera gives the students a real-world example of what they can achieve and the impact they can make in the world!”

The Chambersburg Area School District covers 250 square miles in Franklin County, with more than 61,000 district residents in the Borough of Chambersburg; Greene, Hamilton, Letterkenny, and Lurgan townships; and most of Guilford Township.

The district educates almost 10,000 students from different backgrounds and nations of origin. Just in the past several years, the district’s English Language Learners have increased from approximately 500 to 1,000 students, or 10 percent of the student population. More than 23 percent of students are Hispanic.

Hispanic students represent 13.1 percent of the public school population in Pennsylvania, and through its educator workforce strategy, PDE is recruiting diverse teachers to help guide, teach, and mentor students. This plan builds on the commitment to education Governor Wolf has made over the past eight years, including a $3.7 billion increase in education funding since 2015. In his most recent budget, Governor Tom Wolf solidified his commitment to education at all levels with a historic $1.8 billion investment increase.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website. Follow PDE on FacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith - casesmith@pa.gov

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