Sallie Cone Preschool in Conway celebrated the Cinco de Mayo holiday a little early this year with a celebration at the school on Wednesday.
Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory against France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war and has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture in the U.S.
Teacher Paris Broyles said the celebration of other cultures is what she wanted to bring to Sallie Cone and was able to do that with the Cinco de Mayo ceremony the other day, incorporating Mexican food, dance, the country’s flag and more.
Broyles said that after focusing on Black History Month in February, she decided it was important for students to learn about all cultures and expose them to overall diversity.
She said when she started planning for the Cinco de Mayo event, she had several parents jumping on board, eager to help and share their customs, making tons of food.
On Wednesday, students showed off their talents and dance moves for parents, teachers and the whole school.
The last song to play, "La Macarena," was a decision Broyles said she made because everyone knows the dance and wanted all participants to be able to dance together.
Broyles said she figured the parents of the students in the show would be in attendance but the room was packed come Wednesday.
“I was really [positively] overwhelmed,” she said. “I was just really really [excited] that they wanted to come out and show support for Cinco de Mayo and show support in that way.”
Broyles said not only was it rewarding to see the students learning about other cultures but also to see the parents get so involved and excited about sharing their Mexican customs with others.
She said she worked with a student’s mother and grandmother who were thrilled to go above and beyond to express their culture, making tons of food and sharing it with the teachers and students.
In addition, each classroom got their own piñata filled with Mexican candy.
While this was her first year to do this at Sallie Cone, she has already had parents said they want to help next year and is planning for it to be so much bigger.
“It worked out very well today,” Broyles said.