Patchwork of Diversity

In Monmouth County, Freehold High School teachers Brian Simpson and Linda Thomas will use a $7,943 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education to celebrate Hispanic heritage. Patchwork of Diversity educates ninth-grade students about the important contributions of Hispanics and instills pride in Hispanic culture.  

The program kicks-off Sept. 15, a day when five Latin American Countries won their independence. Students research notable Hispanic figures using a new series of Latin American books made available through the Hipp Grant. They design covers for their essays and use them to create a Patchwork of Diversity Quilt that will hang in the school’s Media Center. Students also participate in a door decorating contest. The winning class dines on traditional Hispanic cuisine in the school’s student run café. Senior chefs from the Culinary Academy compete in a Top Chef competition and the winning dish is offered on the menu to members of the community.

At the culminating H.O.P.E. Assembly (Hispanic Outreach to Promote Education), notable Hispanic role models meet with the class. During the assembly, winners of the various student competitions are honored.

Money raised through the program is donated to a not-for-profit outreach program that helps Hispanic children and their families. An after-school program is established to assist at-risk Hispanic students with their rigorous high school curriculum. This initiative will be made available on the school website for replication by other school districts.

Patchwork of DiversityAs the project concluded, there was an outpouring of support and praise from the Hispanic parents and students for bringing cultural awareness to the community. Read more in Brian's Final Report.

For Further Information, contact:

Brian Simpson
School – (732) 431-8360