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News from 2020-2021

Posted: September 14, 2020

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Essay Contest

National Hispanic Heritage Month in Albuquerque Public Schools is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

  • APS students are encouraged to participate in the second annual My Heart/Mi Corazón essay contest. 
  • Librarians will have a special Hispanic Heritage Collection for students and teachers at each school.
  • The Culturally and Linguistically Responsive book giveaway will kick off in early October.
  • We will wrap up Hispanic Heritage Month with a Facebook Hispanic Heritage Celebration on October 15, 2020.

Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture. The observance began in 1968 when Congress authorized the president to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Just two decades later, lawmakers expanded it to a month-long celebration, from September 15 to October 15. September 15, a historically significant day, marks the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The month also acknowledges the independence celebrations of Mexico on September 16 and Chile on September 18.

The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2019, was 60.6 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constitute 18.5 percent of the nation’s total population.

The number of states with a population of 1 million or more Hispanic residents in 2019 — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. How many of those states have Spanish names?

Essay Contest: Mi Corazón/My Heart 


Mi Corazón/My Heart is a term of endearment often used within the Hispanic culture to show love, respect, and admiration. Nuestros corazónes/our hearts are filled with courage, resilience, passion, strength, and empathy - and in today’s world, those characteristics are even more important to lift us up to be our best. Mi Corazón/My Heart also reminds us of health and wellness, which are incredibly important to us at APS as administrators, teachers, departments, and staff. We are all working to support our students, families, and schools.

Please reflect on what you feel are the characteristics of tu corazón/your heart.  How are these characteristics lifting you up? In addition, how do you lift up those around you? You may write about your family, your classmates and/or your community. 


  • The contest is open to all Albuquerque Public Schools students in Elementary, Middle, and High School.
  • First, second, and third place winners will be awarded in each division: Elementary, Middle and High School.


Essays may be written in English or Spanish. Please format in Microsoft Word.

  • Elementary school: Maximum one page/one side, typed or written, double-spaced.
  • Middle School: Maximum 500 words written or typed, double-spaced, 12 pt.
  • High School: Maximum 1,000 words typed, double-spaced, 12 pt.


Essays will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Answering the questions posed- 50 points
  • Clarity and effectiveness in expressing the theme - 30 points
  • Grammar, spelling and composition - 20 points


  • Entries will be accepted from Sept. 17-Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
  • Please send essay (including the essay cover sheet) to the Equity & Engagement Department via email at (send as a Microsoft Word or PDF attachment).   
  • The winners will be announced at the Facebook Hispanic Heritage Celebration on October 15, 2020.

 PLEASE NOTE: All essay entries may be viewed at the Facebook Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration or via the Hispanic Heritage Celebration link on the APS webpage.  

 Questions? Email: Maria Hines, Office of Equity & Engagement,  at 

Cover Sheet: Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest (Essays that do not include the cover sheet will not be judged)

Hispanic Heritage Foundation's 2020 Youth Awards 

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation's 2020 Youth Awards educational grants program is now accepting applications. The 22nd Annual Youth Awards will award students who are in the graduating Class of 2021 with up to $1,000 in educational grants to fund their higher education or a community-based project.

Recipients will be selected for their accomplishments in the classroom, community and for their excellence in various educational categories. Recipients will also be celebrated in virtual ceremonies.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 6, 2020.