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September Cultural Awareness and Recognitions: Hispanic Heritage Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Deaf Awareness Month

In the Snohomish School District and community, we honor and recognize our diversity while also working to identify and navigate potential barriers to student growth and learning. Please join us as we acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Deaf Awareness Month.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. The time period coincides with national independence day of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Similarly, Mexico celebrates on the 16th, Chile on the 18th and Belize on the 21st.

While Hispanic is a term commonly used, there are others ways people may communicate their cultural identity. Chicano, Latin, and identification based on country of origin have been ways some people choose to identify themselves. One way to navigate this is to engage in conversation and ask, when appropriate.

Educational equity acknowledges needs to navigate barriers to learning. Physical health concerns can impact the ability of a student to engage in learning as well as a family’s ability to support.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) is recognized every September by childhood cancer organizations around the world. The time is meant to both honor and remember children lost to childhood cancer and promote advocacy efforts. In the United States, one in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.

Deaf Awareness Month is also recognized each September. Estimates indicate that nearly 10,000,000 Americans are hard of hearing and close to 1,000,000 are functionally deaf. More than half of all persons with hearing loss or deafness are 65 years or older and less than 4% are under 18 years of age. Overall in the United States, 3.5% of people are deaf or hard of hearing. The purpose of Deaf Awareness Month is to increase public awareness of deaf issues, people, and culture. The week focuses on promoting the positive aspects of deafness, encouraging social inclusion, and raising awareness of the organizations locally, nationally and globally that support those who are deaf.

Although specific months may be designated as times for recognition, we encourage awareness of our cultural diversity and potential barriers to access throughout the year. For more information on recognitions throughout the year please check out this link from