(WTNH) – On Friday, students at Breakthrough Magnet School South in Hartford had the opportunity to learn about Asian American Pacific Islander culture and ring in the Lunar New Year. The event was organized by Hartford Healthcare’s AAPI Colleague Resource Group, as an opportunity to give back to the community. Staff from across the healthcare system volunteered to speak and do activities with the students.
“My children when to Breakthrough Magnet School 12 years ago. And I always love to bring the cultural awareness back to the school and back to the community,” Amina Weiland a Resource Coordinator at Hartford Healthcare said.
Macllerly Rios is an Assistant Nurse Manager in the Emergency Room at Hartford Healthcare, she volunteered to read to the students. Rios told News 8 that celebrating and learning about different cultures benefits her own career.
“As a nurse, it’s really important for me as well because when I’m at the bedside with my patients, to be able to holistically take care of them I have to incorporate their cultural beliefs. That’s very important,” Rios said.
The students did coloring activities, learned calligraphy, and listened to books read aloud about the Lunar New Year and AAPI culture. The students also created a Lunar New Year themed display for the entrance of the school, and lanterns were hung around the hallways and on classroom doors.
“We already do so many cultural celebrations throughout the year with our students,” Breakthrough Magnet School Principal, Holly Gustafson said. “Because we’re a magnet school, our students make up all different demographics, towns, cultures, and countries. So they love to see something they can connect with.”