Wal-Mart Strengthens Hispanic Heritage Month Educational Offerings

Wal-Mart Strengthens Hispanic Heritage Month Educational Offerings
Retailer launches new web-based educators’ tool kit
Children’s educational materials, Hispanic Heritage calendars, and
special edition of Viviendo magazine also available again this year

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (September 14, 2005) – Did you know why September 15 was chosen as the start date of Hispanic Heritage Month?  The answer and dozens more fun facts about Hispanic history and culture are included in a new set of educators’ tools available online from Wal-Mart starting September 15.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, 2005, Wal-Mart will again provide educational materials including a specially-created educators’ tool kit designed to teach children and teens more about Hispanic history and culture. The new tools were developed in response to teacher requests for educational materials Wal-Mart distributed in its stores. The new tools, offered exclusively online, will provide teachers online lesson plans to assist them in talking to their students about Hispanic Heritage Month. Teachers and parents can access the resource kit from the walmartstores.com home page.

The new website is part of Wal-Mart’s ongoing “Latin Roots, American Dreams” initiative which is intended to build awareness, interest and pride in Hispanic traditions and culture. 

 “At Wal-Mart, we believe that our strong commitment to diversity is fundamental to our success,” said Esther Silver Parker, vice president diversity relations for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “We also believe that valuing differences extends beyond our stores and workplace to our relationships with the people and communities we serve. We are proud to bring these educational materials to teachers and parents to help share the vibrant diversity of the Hispanic culture.”

Five separate modules have been developed to provide educational activities for grades K-12.  The tools are designed to teach children and teens more about Hispanic history and culture, as well as give students a better understanding of the Spanish language. Each module includes discussion notes, worksheets and activities built around a common theme.  Also included are downloadable support materials and supplemental ideas to enrich these classroom activities.

The website development team includes:
 
• Karen S. Downie, the supervisor of curriculum and instruction and the federal program coordinator for the Punxsutawney Area School District, where she coordinates all kindergarten through twelfth grade curriculums.

Downie holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and early childhood education and a masters of education degree, both from Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate of education in administration and leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
 
 
• María T. Padilla is a writer and researcher.

Padilla previously was an editorial writer at the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida and helped launch and was the founding editor of the Sentinel’s award-winning Spanish-language weekly, El Sentinel and its companion website, elsentinel.com. She also served in writing/editor roles at the Reno Gazette Journal in Reno, Nevada; the San Juan Star in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif.; and the Wall Street Journal.


• Angie Torres Moure, website writer/translator, specializes in bi-lingual and translation projects and web-content development. She is a former content editor for Yupi Internet Inc., where she was responsible for producing a wide range of online content including Hispanic parenting, cooking and wedding sites.


• Denise Bates Enos, is a writer specializing in educational and lifestyle topics.

In addition to writing for an array of national publications, Enos creates educational materials for Harcourt Publishers, Inc., publishers of educational materials for teachers and classroom use. Her duties for Harcourt include writing and editing teaching guides, classroom materials, assessments, and audio-visual and website materials for Pre-kindergarteners to students in twelfth grade.

Wal-Mart will recognize Hispanic Heritage Month through a variety of additional programs including the distribution at select stores of children’s educational materials and Hispanic Heritage calendars, and a special edition of Viviendo magazine, Wal-Mart’s own quarterly Hispanic publication. 

Throughout the year, Wal-Mart recognizes several multicultural events, including Hispanic Heritage Month, in our stores.  These programs combine information and inspiration, as well as practical and useful resources to empower individuals and families to explore their history, preserve their heritage as well as broaden their knowledge and understanding of others. 

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com.  Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmartfacts.com.  Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.

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