LASO to engage children with Niño Vamonos event


Cassie Buchman

Gladys Valentin, a senior elementary education major and the President of LASO, reads a book with Aubrey Malak, a three year old Charleston resident, during Latino Hertiage Story Time on Sept. 26 in Booth Library.

T'Nerra Butler, Multicultural Editor

Members of Latin American Student Organization are getting the children of the community together to spread the Latin American culture through “Niño Vamonos: Fun and Games,” at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Wesley United Methodist Church.

The event is for children 5 to 12-years old.

Activities include petting ponies, making and decorating maracas and ponchos, face painting and other games to help the children learn more about the Latin American culture.

Julia Abalos, LASO’s public relations coordinator, said last year was the first year the ponies were brought to campus and was a hit. She said it is important to include children the Latin American Heritage Month to share parts of the culture with future generations.

“It definitely gives the kids background on a different culture and since it is Hispanic heritage month they get to learn what the culture involves,” Abalos said. “This immerses the kids in the culture through the activities.”

Abalos said it is important to appeal to the children of the community because LASO does not want to exclude the Charleston community, even the smaller members. She said, this year, LASO is trying to reach out to a broader audience as well as keep Eastern students and faculty engaged.

This event goes back two years and Abalos said it continues to come back because of the great turnouts.

“We want to keep the event fun for them and keep them interactive and keep them moving, but also engaged in what we’re doing” Abalos said. “For me it’s a no brainer when it comes to keeping them interested.”

Abalos said children are the future and if they are taught to appreciate all cultures early, they will be prone to teach future generations.

Gladys Valentin, the president of LASO, said it is important to have an event targeted toward children during Latin American Heritage Month because children are probably learning about the culture in class and may find it interesting.

Valentin said the goal for the day is for kids to join enjoy themselves and learn a little bit about the Latin Culture in a interactive way.

“Why not have events where children can learn more, and even participate in the culture.” Valentin said.

Valentin is excited for the children, she said.

“I think this a great event for children to participate in,” Valentin said.

Valentin said she thinks the event aids children in learning how college can affect their education in a positive way. She said because Eastern students are helping it shows students want to be involve in the community and help out.

Abalos said in order to get the word out about the event she has been telling professors and faculty members to distribute fliers to members of the community.

The cost for one child is $5 and $15 per family, which includes three or four children.


T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]