STUDENTS | October 2, 2021
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Nearly half of all CPS students are Hispanic, and that means that school communities across Chicago are spending time these next few weeks celebrating the unique culture, traditions, and experiences of many in their student populations.
At Lloyd Elementary School in Belmont Cragin, fourth-grade student Alondra explains that celebrating her family’s background is something that extends far beyond a single month—you can see it in the way they celebrate Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and even their birthdays. Her family is from Mexico, and she believes that visiting Mexico has been one of the most memorable experiences of her life thus far. The biggest difference between Mexico and Chicago, in her opinion? There’s no need to watch for cars in the streets outside of her home in Mexico as she does here.
Alondra’s culture is also extremely connected to her favorite foods. She especially enjoys langostinos, which she describes as being similar to shrimp. Even though she didn’t like them at first, after some encouragement from her mom, she kept trying them and now they are one of her favorite foods.
Students like Alondra are what make Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago so special. Learn more about her experiences at Lloyd and her goals for the future below!
You’ve been a Lloyd student for many years now. What’s one memory you know you’ll never forget?
I know I will always remember pre-k. I loved my teacher, Mrs. De La Pena. I also met one of my best friends, Nalia, in her class, and she is still in my class today. We like to tell each other jokes and do other fun things together, like FaceTiming and making TikToks.
How would you describe the teachers and principal here at Lloyd?
The teachers are very nice. They don’t get mad if we do our work the wrong way because they know we tried, and they will always help us do it right. Principal Thompson is one of my favorite people at Lloyd. He’s nice, polite, and helpful. Many times when I was little, he helped me tie my shoes, and he used to tell me jokes and other funny things when my shoes were untied.
How has this school year been going for you?
When I was remote, I always felt so behind. It’s been fun being back because I get to see my friends and also make new ones by making them laugh. I even share my secrets with them. Outside of school, I love talking with my friends and playing with fidget toys with them. I’m also involved in soccer, swimming, and gymnastics.
What is your favorite subject and what subject is most challenging for you?
I love writing and reading because I like to learn new words. I’m currently reading a chapter book called Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle.
My hardest subject is math because you have to multiply and divide. But I’m still going to get good grades in math by doing all my work.
Do you have any siblings?
Yes. My sister just started high school and my brother’s about to go to high school. They used to go to Lloyd with me which was nice because when I would see them, I would hug them. Now that I’m the only one here, it’s still nice because I’ve been here for about seven years, and it’s a fun school.
What are your goals for this year and the future?
This year, I want to get straight As by doing all my work and not quitting. When I’m older, I want to be a lawyer. That will take a lot of intelligence, so I know I’ll need to do well in school every year to make that happen.