Shields Elementary debuts Cinco de Mayo program

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.
Updated May 19, 2013 at 12:19 a.m.

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."



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