Carthage elementary students celebrate Cinco de Mayo with homemade maracas and dance

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Call it a day after Cinco de Mayo celebration, Monday, at Pleasant Valley Elementary in Carthage.

Pre-school teacher Melissa Stremke invited her friend, Maria Sanchez to class — where she and the kids made homemade maracas — and then danced to traditional Hispanic music.

Forty-percent of the district’s population is made up of Hispanic students.

Stremke’s kids learn both English and Spanish year-round and this has always been a popular event.

“Ms. Maria has been to my class before in the past, and it’s always been a huge hit. The kids automatically love listening to her. They’re super attentive when she’s here, and she can even get my shyest, quietist students to dance like I’ve never seen ’em dance before,” said Stremke.

“It always exceeds my expectations, because I see the joy, I see those happy faces, and, you know, the children love this. I grew up seeing my mom do this with my and I’m just following the pattern with, you know, all kids including my grandkids,” said Sanchez.

You’ll recall, Sanchez was elected to the Carthage School Board in April — making her the first ever Hispanic school board member in the district’s history.

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