Shields Elementary debuts Cinco de Mayo program

Shields Elementary School students prepare for their school's first Cinco de Mayo program
  • BY THE NUMBERS

  • Here are the Hispanic student populations at each VISD elementary school.

    •  Mission Valley - 29 percent

    • William Wood - 38 percent

    • Vickers - 40 percent

    • DeLeon - 45 percent

    • Schorlemmer - 49 percent

    • Aloe - 56 percent

    •  Guadalupe ...

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  • BY THE NUMBERS

    Here are the Hispanic student populations at each VISD elementary school.

    •  Mission Valley - 29 percent

    • William Wood - 38 percent

    • Vickers - 40 percent

    • DeLeon - 45 percent

    • Schorlemmer - 49 percent

    • Aloe - 56 percent

    •  Guadalupe - 56 percent

    • Chandler - 57 percent

    • Rowland - 69 percent

    • Shields - 72 percent

    • Smith - 72 percent

    • Torres - 73 percent

    • Dudley - 75 percent

    • F.W. Gross - 77 percent

    • Crain - 79 percent

    • O'Connor - 79 percent

    • Hopkins - 87 percent

    Source: The National Center for Education Statistics, 2010-2011

The girls twisted their skirts back and forth in fascination.

They had been practicing for the last couple of weeks before the big show, but this was their first time putting on the folklorico costumes.

And it was the first time Shields Elementary School had ever produced a Cinco de Mayo program, said Tonika Bufford, show co-coordinator and preschool special education assistant.

Accompanying the elementary school students were members of Victoria East High School's folklorico dance group and Marisella Pulido, a professional mariachi singer and former Shields student.

"We're trying to educate them," said Bufford, who also coordinates the school's hip-hop club called the Shields Shark Steppers. "And this might be what propels them to bring home As and Bs instead of Cs and Ds."

Shields serves a 72 percent Hispanic student population, according to a 2011-12 study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Amberlee Gamez, 9, said she was excited about the chance to experience and showcase a part of her Mexican-American heritage.

"I finally get to enjoy something that's part of me," Amberlee said. "Being Mexican-American is something I'm really proud of."